Questions to Ask Before You Decide About Teeth Whitening

| 6 min read

Are whiter teeth healthier teeth?

That’s a good question and one you should allow the facts about teeth whitening to answer. Even so, the desire for a more attractive smile is a step in the right direction to making oral health improvements.

What teeth whitening does for your teeth

A smiling glance in the mirror often reveals the toll that your diet and lifestyle can take on your teeth’s appearance. There’s also more going on beneath the surface of those stains and yellowing you might notice on your teeth.

Keep in mind that teeth whitening isn’t only about perfect looking, brilliantly white teeth. In fact, the best teeth whitening procedure will actually restore your teeth’s natural-looking color.

Think of your teeth as being porous and sponge-like. A teeth whitening treatment is designed to penetrate and be absorbed into your tooth structure.

The chemical solution used helps remove the build up of staining residue and draws it out through the pores of your tooth structure.

Speaking of the “chemical solution,” you’re likely interested in the choices available to you. And the one that’s preferable for whitening your teeth.

What’s the difference between over-the-counter (DIY) teeth whitening and a professional teeth whitening treatment?

This choice is really about your desired results. For example, over-the-counter whitening products lack the strength of a professional teeth whitening procedure you can schedule with your dentist.

The core bleaching ingredient used in teeth whitening is hydrogen peroxide. Here’s an initial fact that helps answer the question about DIY vs. professional teeth whitening:

”Whiteners used by dentists may have as much as 35% to 45% peroxide while the store-bought whitening kits such as whitening strips or trays usually have just 7% peroxide.” [1]

That’s a substantial gap when comparing whitening products and treatment solutions. After all, you’re ultimately interested in removing the stains from your teeth and achieving an attractive looking smile.

Questions to ask before you whiten your teeth

Does teeth whitening damage your teeth?

You can trust a professional teeth whitening treatment to be safe for your teeth. The ingredients used by a dental professional has a restorative effect on your teeth.

Over-the-counter teeth whitening ingredients come with risks. Misuse or overuse of these products are often associated with the damage some experience with teeth whitening.

Will teeth whitening cause your teeth to be sensitive?

Teeth sensitivity is a common issue.

”…more than 60% of Americans have naturally sensitive teeth.” [2]

A teeth whitening procedure could add to your teeth sensitivity problems. The reasons vary.

  • The ingredients can “dehydrate” your teeth for a period of time.
  • Lack of hydration impacts the nerves in your teeth.
  • You could experience a reaction to hot or cold temperatures for a period of time following the procedure.

Consult with your dentist about your teeth sensitivity issues and what to expect following your whitening treatment.

Is there a solution for maintaining your teeth whitening results?

A professional teeth whitening treatment will typically include at-home whitening trays. These trays are custom-fitted by your dentist and are designed for ongoing application of provided whitening ingredients.

Remember that the goals of teeth whitening are stain removal and restoring your teeth to a natural, brighter shade. Following your dentist’s at-home care instructions and utilizing professionally designed whitening trays can help you achieve those goals.

You might be tempted to rely on over-the-counter options for whiter teeth. Cost, convenience, and time are common reasons for DIY approaches to dental care.

Consider another initial option to ask questions and receive more information about teeth whitening or other dental issues.

An online dental visit is also cost effective, convenient, and time-saving.

  • Free scans
  • Convenient, time-saving access to low cost, virtual dental consultations with a licensed dentist
  • Connection to in-person dental care with dentists in your zip code

Explore the following resources to get acquainted with virtual dental care and the importance of prioritizing your oral health:

So, What Happens During a Virtual Dental Visit (and What are the Benefits)?

Overcome Avoidance and Be More Empowered About Your Dental Health

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