We all want that brightest-white Hollywood smile – but not at the expense of our dental health. Overdoing teeth whitening treatments can put your teeth at risk for other issues, some of which can be permanent, so it’s important to know how often you should be whitening before you’re looking at a big problem in the mirror.
Your dentist is your personal resource for helping you identify ways to get a whiter grin without putting your enamel at risk. What is the first step? Figuring out your whitening frequency will help you to achieve your whitening goals.
How often can I whiten my teeth at home with a whitening kit?
For your initial treatment, it’s always important to follow the recommendation of your dentist. You should never use an at-home whitening kit that does not have the ADA seal of approval, and asking your dentist which kits they recommend is always wise. Your dentist has first-hand experience with whitening products and is the best resource for finding which kit will work best for you.
When using an at home whitening system, follow the package instructions for as many treatments as it takes to reach your desired shade of whiteness. Most at home whitening kits allow you to achieve your whitening potential after 7-14 days of treatments. Each whitening kit is different, so be sure to read the directions carefully and follow the guidelines. Once that shade has been reached, transition to the maintenance side of whitening depending on your diet and homecare.
How frequently should I get professional teeth whitening?
In-office bleaching is recommended once a year, with at home touch-ups in-between treatments. Every patient is on a slightly different whitening schedule, depending on their dental health and the natural shade of their enamel.
How can I make whitening results last as long as possible?
You can maintain a whiter smile after a treatment by following these simple daily steps:
- Stay hydrated – Water rinses away staining compounds from dark colored foods and drinks that can stain your enamel.
- Rinse your mouth – Follow up your cup of coffee or glass of wine by rinsing your mouth out with water.
- Use a straw – Try to drink dark colored liquids through a straw when possible.
- Brush with a whitening toothpaste – Great oral hygiene keeps teeth clean and bright.
- Schedule a cleaning – Regular exams keep teeth healthy.
- Use a home whitening kit – Whitening at home will give your teeth a fresh boost of whiteness whenever they are starting to look dull.
What are the consequences of excessive teeth whitening?
Research shows that low concentrations of peroxide used in teeth whitening are safe to use as directed, after a proper dental exam; however, there are serious side effects that are directly linked to excessive teeth whitening.
- Tooth sensitivity. Often a side effect of leaving a whitening treatment on for too long.
- Inflamed or bleeding gums. You may be having a reaction to the whitening ingredients and should contact your dentist immediately.
- Teeth that look blue or see-through along the edge. A warning sign of the thinning of your tooth enamel that can lead to nerve damage.
If you are having any of these side effects from your whitening treatment, contact Hinsdale Dentistry so we can assist you in coming up with a better whitening plan tailored just for you.