Teeth Whitening Considerations

Thanks to modern technology and ingredients, teeth whitening at home is just as effective as going to the dentist. However, here are some factors to consider before beginning the home teeth whitening process:

  • It’s time to Stop Smoking. If you’re expecting a blindingly brilliant “Hollywood smile”, but you haven’t stopped smoking yet, then you are probably expecting unrealistic results.  Smokers should be aware that unless they refrain from smoking during tooth whitening, their teeth will not reach the maximum whiteness.
  • Got (Peroxide) Allergies? Those who have an allergy to peroxide should not use teeth whitening products, as peroxide is the main whitening agent in most products.
  • Pregnancy and age. It’s not recommended that children under 16 years old use teeth whitening systems. The nerve in the tooth, or pulp chamber, is enlarged in until about this age and using teeth whitening systems under these conditions could cause the pulp to become overly sensitive and could cause additional irritation later. Pregnant or nursing women should not use teeth whitening systems, either.

Potential Side Effects

There are two major side effects when you are using a teeth whitening product. You may experience an increase in tooth sensitivity temporarily, or you may experience mild irritation in the mouth’s soft tissues, especially the gums. Sensitivity is common in the beginning stages of treatment application, while tissue irritation is more often the result of ill-fitting trays. If you follow directions closely, then you shouldn’t have problems with these issues, and in most cases these conditions usually cease after one to three days of completing treatment.

If you happen to experience some sensitivity, there are some ways to help eliminate it:

  • Lessen the amount of time you wear the tray
  • Take a two or three day break from whitening so your teeth can adjust.
  • Consult with your pharmacist or dentist about getting a product that contains a high fluoride concentration, as it will help re-mineralize your teeth. Apply product to the whitening tray or teeth for four minutes before you apply the whitening product.
  • Use a toothpaste designed for those with sensitive teeth. These toothpastes usually include potassium nitrate as an ingredient, which is known to help soothe the teeth’s nerve endings.

Now that you’re ready to start using a teeth-whitening kit, why not start your search for one with our in-depth product comparisons? We’ve reviewed and ranked the top products on the market, and the results are here.

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