Feel like your pearly whites aren’t so white? So many products claim to whiten teeth, but there may be more than meets the eye, particularly when it comes to store-bought whitening products.
If you would like to try an at-home, teeth-whitening product, see your dentist first. Why? Because you want to first rule out dental problems such as periodontal (gum) disease or tooth decay, sometimes even on the teeth that you are trying to whiten. Whitening your teeth won’t fix those problems and can even aggravate them. Also, your dentist can give you advice on how the different products work and what might work best for your situation.
Yes, most tooth whitening products work to some degree. It’s important to know which will perform best for you and what to expect. Your dentist can answer questions like how long will it take, how much whiter can you make them, what are the adverse effects like gum irritation or tooth sensitivity, how long will it last, and what else you can do to keep your smile bright.
Tooth whiteners won’t work on all teeth. They won’t whiten:
Some options your dentist may suggest:
Tooth whitening can cause tooth and gum sensitivity in some people, so call your dentist if you experience this side effect.
Your dentist can explain all your options and help you find one that’s right for you.
“Whitening.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening.aspx
“Tooth Whitening Systems.” American Dental Hygienists’ Association. http://www.adha.org/resources-docs/7227_Tooth_Whitening.pdf