If you want a whiter, brighter smile, you might be tempted to head to the store to pick up a home whitening kit. After all, how hard could a little bleaching be? Although it might seem simple to apply a few strips overnight, making teeth whitening mistakes could cost you. Here are three reasons to skip the DIY whitening treatments and head to the dentist instead:
1: Every Mouth Is Different
When manufacturers make home whitening kits, they keep the general public in mind. As they design whitening trays, write instructions, and decide which gel concentration to include, they figure that their protocol will work for most people. Unfortunately, every mouth is different, and some kits might not be right for you. Here are a few things that could put a kink in your at-home whitening success:
- Damage: Most people don't realize it, but whitening bleach actually opens up pores in your dental enamel, so that it can access underlying stains. Unfortunately, if you have dental fractures, cavities, or infections, bleaching could severely irritate or further existing damage.
- Dental Work: Do you have dental crowns or teeth that have been rebuilt with composite resin? If so, those areas might whiten a little differently than the rest of your teeth.
- Gum Sensitivity: To keep people safe, some DIY kits include lower concentrations of whitening gel. Unfortunately, this might mean that you will have to whiten frequently in order to achieve results. Over time, repeated whitening could lead to gum sensitivity or painful oral ulcers.
Fortunately, your dentist can evaluate your current dental health and develop a customized whitening plan fit for your teeth. Instead of ignoring damage and overlooking existing dental work, you can target stains safely and effectively.
2: Not All Whitening Gel Is Created Equally
That DIY whitening kit might promise whiter teeth after a few applications, but at what cost? Although you might assume that generic kit is safe, the fact of the matter is that not all whitening gel is created equally.
Because at-home kits typically contain gel with bleach concentrations ranging from 3-20%, you might be tempted to track down a high concentration to whiten your teeth faster. Unfortunately, over-whitening your teeth with the wrong gel could actually make your teeth look worse. Eventually, your dental enamel could become translucent, showing off the dark shadows in the back of your mouth. Instead of having a beautiful, white smile, you might end up with gray-looking teeth. Unfortunately, some home bleach formulations contain higher levels of acid, which could erode your enamel.
To protect yourself, avoid DIY whitening products and only use gels recommended by your dentist. In addition to enjoying a brighter smile, you might also be able to avoid permanently damaging your teeth.
3: Ill-Fitting Trays or Strips Could Yield Uneven Results
Depending on the DIY kit you choose, you might be left struggling with messy strips or uncomfortable rubber mouth trays. Although it might seem like a small price to pay for a whiter smile, ill-fitting trays or strips could lead to uneven, unattractive results.
If strips move around, you might end up completely missing entire sections of your teeth, which could make your teeth look strange. If bleach pools in the bottom of bleaching trays, your teeth could end up looking dip-dyed. Fortunately, if you meet with your dentist instead, he or she can create custom mouth guards that will hold whitening gel in place. In addition to creating an even look, custom guards can keep gel from oozing out onto your gums or running down your throat.
By working with your dentist from a site like http://www.nwidentist.com/ to whiten your teeth, you can achieve a brighter smile without all of the painful side effects.