Are you worried about stained or discolored teeth? Has your self-esteem gone down because of discolored teeth? Are you thinking of a teeth whitening service but don’t have enough information at hand? Read on.
Teeth whitening is a process that uses either a gel, toothpaste, or gum with hydrogen peroxide to remove stains and discoloration from your teeth. Your dentist or hygienist can perform the procedure, or you can purchase over-the-counter whitening toothpaste to use at home.
Three main concerns about teeth whitening are that it’s too abrasive for your teeth, causes gum irritation, and will bleach the bones of your jaw if done incorrectly. However, there is nothing to worry about when done by a professional.
Here are the considerations when seeking the service:
Ensure That Your Teeth Whitening Service Is Carried Out by A Professional
Only a professional should recommend the service, ensuring that get quality results and avoid side effects. Talk to your dentist about your concerns. They will exam your teeth and recommend an appropriate service. Some suggestions are:
Whitening strips target the teeth’ exterior and don’t touch the surrounding gums. They can be worn at home and remove stains on your teeth over several days. However, they only work for mild cases of discoloration and won’t last long if you drink hot beverages throughout the day.
Make sure to get a recommendation as each stripe has a different concentration of whitening chemicals. Most strips have hydrogen peroxide in small quantities facilitating teeth whitening.
The whitening gel is applied directly to the teeth. It is then activated by a special light or laser, which speeds up the whitening process. The gel contains hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations to whiten your teeth quickly and for longer periods than strips.
The gels work best under a dentist’s supervision. They’re very strong and can damage surrounding gum tissue if the chemical comes into contact with your gums. The more reason the exercise should be under supervision.
Teeth Whitening Toothpastes
Teeth whitening toothpastes have abrasives and peroxide in lower concentrations than strips or gels. They are a good choice for people who want whitening benefits without risking side effects.
Some toothpastes strengthen your teeth, while others have natural ingredients such as baking soda and peroxide to remove stains.
Discuss Any Medications You Currently Take with Your Dentist
You might want to discuss any medications you are currently taking with your dentist. These could include cholesterol-lowering drugs, medication for heartburn, or even antihistamines that may cause dry mouth when using teeth whitening products.
The chemicals in the gel need to react with your teeth’ natural moisture. The reaction can’t happen if there isn’t enough moisture in your mouth.
Ask About Side Effects
Your dentist should inform you of any suspected side effects before the procedure begins. Some of the most common side effects are tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, increased saliva production, or nausea after using products with high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide.
You may experience teeth sensitivity after several treatments because the outer layer of your teeth is more porous than the inner layer. If you experience this, eat lukewarm foods or use desensitizing toothpaste to help reduce the sensitivity. Usually, this goes away after some days.
Bleaching can sometimes irritate your gums because it speeds up the natural exfoliation process. You may experience irritated or tender gums if you use products with a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide. This should only be temporary and will go away after some time.
Increased Saliva Production
Increased saliva production may cause your mouth to produce more spit than usual, which can lead to the solution spilling out of your mouth during treatment. The side effect shouldn’t happen when your dentist or hygienist performs the procedure.
Some products lead to an upset stomach because of the amount of hydrogen peroxide. Nausea should pass within thirty minutes to an hour after treatment. However, only use products your dentist recommends. Some precautions to minimize side effects include:
- Using products as recommended by the dentist and manufacturer
- Avoiding colored foods or beverages for 24 hours after the procedure
- Not using teeth whitening products if you are using other bleaching treatments
Contact your dentist immediately if you notice any signs of allergic reaction such as:
- Swelling in lips or facial areas
- Itching in and around your mouth
- Redness in and around your mouth
- Painful or bleeding gums
- A change in how your teeth feel, such as increased smoothness or roughness
- In rare cases, you might have an allergic reaction to the chemicals
Ask About Other Treatment Options
Your dentist can advise you on different treatments or solutions other than teeth whitening kits. For example, if your teeth are stained due to medication, the effects of stopping the medicine might outweigh the effects of staining.
Also, your dentist can apply veneers if your enamel is damaged due to age or overexposure to fluoride.
In some cases, you might have a dark-colored birthmark on your tooth that bleaching cannot remove. You can ask about other treatment options if this is the case. Sometimes, teeth whitening products may discolor pigmented areas. You might need a different approach for this kind of staining.
Know When to Do It Yourself and When to Go to The Dentist
You can whiten your teeth at home or go to a professional for this service. However, your dentist should whiten your teeth if you have gum disease or cavities.
However, you’ll never need teeth whitening services with good oral hygiene. Learn how to limit your consumption of staining foods, brush your teeth twice per day, and use natural products to remove surface stains. Also, regularly visit the dentist for professional cleaning and exams.
Use ADA Approved Products
The American Dental Association (ADA) approves teeth whitening products that a dentist can use. You should only use these products to avoid potential damage to your mouth and tissues. Always look for the ADA mark on the products.
Are You Looking for Professional Help to Whiten Teeth?
If you’re looking for a teeth whitening service provider, Newbury Dental Group is the place to go for long-lasting teeth whitening benefits. Whether you want a teeth whitening treatment at home or in our office, we can help you find the best option for your needs.
Contact us for a consultation that will lead to an effective long-term solution.