Thanks to home tooth-whitening kits, you may not have to spend a fortune at the dentist for a nice white smile. But there are some risks of gum irritation and permanent tooth discoloration from using these products. Safely whiten your teeth at home with these tips.
- Floss and brush daily. Good oral hygiene is the first line of defense against yellow teeth. Home whitening products do not remove plaque and tartar buildup that make teeth look yellow.
- Schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups. The dentist or hygienist can remove unsightly yellow tartar and polish your teeth to look whiter. Sometimes a professional cleaning is all you need for a nice, white smile.
- Talk to your dentist first before using home whitening products. Your dentist can examine you to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for home whitening and provide tips on using these whitening products.
- Be realistic about the shade of white you can achieve. Age, enamel loss, lifestyle and genetics all affect your ability to get that perfect white smile. And overly, bright white teeth may look good on the silver screen but look fake and tacky in real life.
- Use home whitening products if you have caps, crowns, veneers and/or artificial front teeth. Whitening products only work on natural teeth so any artificial teeth will not match the rest of your teeth after whitening. Consult a dentist who might be able to polish the crown to match your teeth. You may need to replace artificial teeth to make them match the color of your natural teeth.
- Use the whitening product for longer than recommended. Overuse increases the risk of gum irritation and can permanently turn your teeth bluish or translucent. If the product doesn’t whiten your teeth enough, go see the dentist.
- Make tooth whitening part of your daily beauty routine. Again, you risk gum irritation and permanent discoloration. Tooth whitening products are safe for short-term use but not enough information is available on the safety of long-term, unsupervised use.