Teeth Whitening Basics
Why Whiter Teeth?
Teeth Whitening Risks
Keeping Teeth White
Teeth Whitening FAQ
Natural Teeth Whitening
Teeth Whitening Kits
Dental Office Whitening
Teeth Whitening Risks
There are a few side effects and limitations related to tooth whitening that you might want to learn about. We detail them for you below.
Tooth and Gum Sensitivity
The most common side effects from tooth whitening are either tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, or both. Gum irritation is usually caused by a mouth tray that doesn’t fit the actual mold of the mouth properly. Tooth sensitivity usually occurs when you first start out with teeth whitening products.
If you have EITHER of these side effects, you can reduce them or even eliminate them by taking the following steps:
If it’s a tray, wear it for a shorter period of time and/or only ONCE per day. You’lll still get the same results but it may just take a bit longer.
Cease all treatments completely for a few days and then start up the treatments once again.
Use toothpaste that is made for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes use potassium nitrate which helps to soothe the nerve endings of your teeth.
Your dentist can provide fluoride products to both protect and replace the minerals in your teeth. Wear the product before AND after the whitening treatments. Your dentist will have more information on this treatment for you should you so choose it.
Gum irritation can be treated with most over-the-counter products.
Some people have a more sensitive mouth than others — although, on average, about half of the people who go ahead and try teeth whitening products experience some minor tooth sensitivity or gum irritation.
Composite Fillings, Crowns, and Veneers
Teeth whitening will not work on crowns, veneers OR composite fillings. In fact, you may end up with different colored teeth unless you replace the crown or veneer before you begin the whitening process! If you’re planning on a having ANY composite work done on your teeth then it’s highly recommended that you have it done before beginning your teeth whitening program(s). Otherwise it may be damaged so badly that is needs to be replaced.
If you have any of the above then teeth whitening bleach may not be very effective.
If your teeth are severely stained by tetracycline then you might not experience a dramatic improvement with teeth bleaching at all. However, it does make a difference after prolonged treatment, so don’t get too discouraged!
Teeth whitening is NOT recommended for any children who are under the age of 16. At this age the teeth are still developing with the nerves still enlarged and teeth whitening could cause sensitivity and possibly even severly damage the teeth.
Dentists do NOT recommend teeth whitening for any women who are or may become pregnant or are lactating. Swallowing even the smallest amount of whitening bleach can be harmful to a fetus so don’t even think about taking the risk!
Obviously, anyone allergic to peroxide should NOT use a teeth whitening product. Unfortunately, we decided to include this since the aforementioned statement might not have occurred to everyone in our worldly population…
Many people expect glowing white teeth the very first timethat they whiten. They may be disappointed and results will depend upon an individuals genetics, the condition of their teeth and the actual whitening methodthat is used. Also keep in mind that whitening is NOT permanent. If you’re lucky then it will be a year or two longer before another treatment is needed.
That being said, teeth whitening is a wonderful AND cost effective way to get a nicer smile.