It’s easy to look for teeth whitening solutions on the internet or in TV ads, but proceed with caution when shopping for safe ways to get a whiter smile. Your teeth are an integral part of your health, and some whitening solutions—and common mistakes made when buying teeth whitening products—can damage your pearly whites and land you back in your dentist’s chair.
Not talking to your dentist
Your dentist is more than just a twice-a-year visit. He or she is (or should be) an expert on oral health, someone who can recommend steps you should take to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. If you’re thinking about whitening your teeth, consult your dentist before you purchase any teeth whitening products to make sure that your next visit to the dentist is smooth (and bad news free!). Otherwise: you’re whitening at risk: using teeth whitening products when you have cavities or other damage can accelerate and cause more damage.
Using one-size-fits-all trays
Everyone’s mouth is different (trust us on this, we’re dentists!). As tempting as it is to buy those one-size-fits-all trays, there can be repercussions from using ill-fitting trays. Trays that don’t fit properly can leak or apply chemicals to your mouth in areas that you don’t intend, causing injuries to your teeth and gums.
Buying whatever teeth whitening product you find
Mouth rinses. Strips. Special toothpaste. There are a number of products on the market, and not all have been tested and approved. Ask your dentist for a list of teeth whitening products they recommend or look for an ADA seal. If you wander outside the tooth whitening aisle at your local drug store or at the grocery store, make sure you are using products clearly designated for the mouth.
Not following the directions
Teeth whitening is one of those situations where you need to follow the directions to the ‘T,’ as the old adage says. Using teeth whitening products too much or outside of the label can damage your teeth and gums or lead to injuries, such as chemical burns or loss of enamel.
Using home remedies
Using common household products to whiten your teeth sounds like a great idea in theory. However, certain household products, especially acidic ones, can wear down the enamel in your mouth. No matter how good it sounds, be careful about any home remedies you see on the internet or hear from your friends. That home teeth whitening mixture could be worse for your oral health than the color of your teeth.