Have you considered completing a teeth whitening procedure recently? If you’ve answered yes, you’re not the only one. In fact, having the whitest and brightest smile is the goal of many people and oftentimes, it leads to the endless use of over-the-counter bleaching kits. While whitening is perfectly safe to do, some limitations do apply. There are many people who bleach constantly, really to excess. Thus, before you begin rummaging through a sea of drugstore bleaching kits, read this article. It may provide some insight on the the teeth whitening process.
To help his patients understand the ins and outs of teeth whitening, your Lake Forest, IL dentist, Dr. James Fondriest offers a few tips in this informative blog post.
What to Do Before You Whiten
- Consult with the dentist first. Before you start a bleaching treatment, talk to Dr. Fondriest first. He can complete an dental exam to check if your teeth and gums can withstand a bleaching treatment. For example, if you have cavities, whitening isn’t an option. Since a cavity is essentially a hole in your tooth, the bleaching formula can penetrate the tooth and cause great discomfort.
Furthermore, gum inflammation also delays the treatment since the bleaching solution only agitates and worsens the condition.
Additionally, your dentist can recommend the safest over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions that won’t damage your oral health. Or you can opt to use an professional-grade at-home teeth bleaching kit directly from Dr. Fondriest.
- Shop around. If you’re choosing to whiten at-home, don’t pick the first whitening kit available. Most of those kits have weaker solutions and you must complete several treatments before noticeable results appear. Instead, shop around the whitening aisle of your local drugstore. Typically, solutions with a carbamide peroxide potency of 10% to 20% work best.
Moreover, check for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal. Dental products with this label have been deemed safe for teeth by the ADA.
- Follow the instructions. Make sure to read the directions on the packaging carefully and follow those instructions to a tee. Leaving the whitening formulas on longer than the allotted time, can cause the gum irritation. It’s best to use the treatments correctly for multiple sessions rather than overusing the treatment once.
- Patience is key. If you’re looking for immediate results, the at-home whitening solution isn’t the way to go—for such instances, try an in-office treatment instead. As aforementioned, the at-home route does take longer, therefore, patience is key. Give the treatment a couple of weeks before switching to different product. Note: Pregnant or nursing women shouldn’t complete teeth whitening treatments because the chemicals can harm the baby.
- Watch out for sensitivity. A common complaint amongst patients who have had a bleaching treatment is the lingering sensitivity. This is stems from two issues: prolonged contact between the gums and the bleaching solution and a slight weakening of the enamel.
To resolve the gum sensitivity, simply dip a cotton swab in vitamin E ointment and apply it to the gum line. For your teeth, use a fluoride solution to restrengthen the enamel. Patients should also take care avoid acidic foods as this enhances the sensitivity issue.
- Control the whitening urge. Some patients tend to go a little overboard with whitening once they begin at-home whitening treatments, which relates back to following the instructions carefully. Realistically, teeth shouldn’t appear whiter than the whites of your eyes. At first, use the bleaching as often as the packaging instructs; however, once your smile appears vibrant, touch-ups once a month is sufficient to maintain the brilliance.
Avoid the foods that cause stains
There are many foods that cause stains to accumulate. Prevent further staining while whitening them, especially while your are trying to brighten your teeth. The open spaces between enamel rods actually open up during the bleaching process and the tooth becomes more vulnerable to additional staining.
Visit Lake Forest Dental for Teeth Whitening Services
If you’re interested in beginning teeth whitening treatments, consult with Dr. Fondriest. He can explain the benefits and disadvantages to both at-home whitening and in-office treatments. With his help, you can choose the most effective method that suits you best. To schedule an appointment with our Chicago metro area dental practice, call (847) 234-0517. Also, visit our website for services, testimonials, and before-and-after gallery. Dr. Fondriest and his staff welcome patients from Chicago and surrounding cities.