Teeth Whitening: Mistakes to Avoid

Front view of Sarko Dental

When teeth whitening goes well, you end up with a dazzling smile that others notice. When teeth whitening goes wrong, though, your smile can be embarrassing.

Teeth whitening is a process that lightens the overall color of your teeth by sever shades. In fact, teeth whitening can make your teeth as white and bright as they can possibly be. Some types of teeth whitening can also erase stubborn stains and discolorations. 

Our cosmetic dentist in Scottsdale offers in-office teeth whitening, although a few of our patients try teeth whitening at home before they come in to see us – and many of those who try home whitening make some common mistakes. We suggest you come in to visit us before attempting a smile makeover at home. 

Scottsdale Dentist Describes Teeth Whitening Mistakes You Should Avoid

Using whitening toothpaste every day

Whitening toothpaste is a convenient way to whiten your teeth and it can provide a brighter smile almost instantly. These products rely on charcoal or other abrasives to whiten and polish teeth. Unfortunately, these products are not meant for long-term use. In fact, when used for a long time, the abrasives in teeth whitening toothpastes can damage your teeth. The abrasion can remove tooth enamel, for example, and cause your gums to recede. 

When it comes to toothpaste for daily use, our dentist recommends using multipurpose fluoride toothpaste, which helps your teeth stay strong and healthy – and there’s nothing more attractive than a healthy smile. 

Whitening without talking to your Scottsdale cosmetic dentist  first

It can be so tempting to sneak in a quick teeth whitening without talking to your dentist first. After all, what could be the worst that could happen? You might be surprised!

Teeth whitening does not change the color of certain types of dental work. Crowns, veneers, dental implants, and fillings are made of composite materials or porcelain. Unlike your natural tooth enamel, these materials do not whiten and will remain darker in color than your natural teeth – this means teeth whitening can leave your teeth look uneven in color. Your dentist can identify any potential problems you may have with teeth whitening due to dental work before you whiten your teeth. Your dentist can also determine if teeth whitening is right for you, and if so, which type of whitening treatment can best fit your needs. 

Overusing whitening strips

While whitening strips are easy and inexpensive, but as with whitening toothpaste, using prolonged use of whitening strips can damage your teeth and gums. This is because direct contact the active ingredients in whitening strips can cause swelling, bleeding, and other issues with your gums. Some of these active ingredients, such as chlorine dioxide, can destroy the enamel on your teeth. 

The damage to your teeth and gums can also happen when you leave whitening strips on longer than recommended, or if you do not follow the directions that came with the whitening product. 

Using one-size-fits-all whitening trays

One of the big problems with over-the-counter trays is that they use a one-size-fits-all bleaching tray, but every person’s mouth is different. A tray that is not custom-fit can allow the whitening product to leak and contact teeth and gums, which can cause damage to your teeth and irritation of your gums. What’s more, your saliva can leak into the whitening trays, where it can deactivate the whitening properties of the product. 

Not brushing or flossing before whitening

Bits of leftover food can combine with saliva and bacteria to create plaque, a colorless film that sticks to the surface of your teeth and in the spaces between your teeth. Plaque and food particles can lead to gum disease and cavities, but they can also create a barrier between the whitening agent and the surface of your teeth – and this can lead to spotty whitening results.

Ignoring pre-existing dental conditions

Teeth whitening can worsen some types of dental problems, such as cavities and receding gums. Whitening your teeth can also make tooth decay more noticeable. What’s more, whitening your teeth before addressing your dental health can cause discomfort, complications, and poor teeth whitening results. 

For more information on teeth whitening gone wrong, or to have professional teeth whitening in Scottsdale, contact Sarko Dental Associates. Our Scottsdale dentist can help you determine the best approach to teeth whitening. We also offer professional teeth whitening that brings your teeth to their whitest, brightest shade possible. If whitening does not provide you with the results you desire, we also offer veneers in Scottsdale. Make an appointment with Sarko Dental Associates today by calling 480-951-2782 or by filling out the online form.

Call (480) 951-2782 or request an appointment online to set up your first visit. We’ll be in touch soon.