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What Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits Don’t Want You to Know

Posted by Steven Lim Joseph Fields Oct 21, 2020

Having a set of shiny and pearly whites goes a long way in building your self-confidence. Being directly proportional to attractiveness, more and more Americans want to achieve a beautiful smile. However, not everyone is naturally blessed with white teeth; thus, some utilize teeth whitening products to attain desired results. You may visit your best dentist in Reno for help.  

What are OTC Teeth Whitening Kits?

There are a few ways you can get ahold of teeth whitening products. Most patients prefer to ask for their dentist’s recommendation to make sure they get the right one for them. Others, on the other hand, purchase or make their own without the oversight of dental professionals. While both ways may still incur side effects, doing the latter incites a whole lot of risk.  

What are the Possible Side Effects of OTC Teeth Whitening Kits?

Teeth whitening methods have been present for decades. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that safe and effective teeth whitening options are available as administered by your dentist or through over-the-counter purchase.  

Unfortunately, most treatments – if not all – always have side effects, and the same goes with teeth whitening methods. Before you use one for yourself, it pays to know and understand the possible side effects first.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is probably the most common side effect among all teeth whitening procedures. This may happen if you have naturally sensitive teeth. Some other factors that may contribute to tooth sensitivity are exposure to mouth trays or whitening strips for a longer time, the presence of restorations, or the percentage of peroxide introduced to the teeth.  

Tooth sensitivity usually happens because the dentin layer of your teeth is exposed to the whitening agent. While sensitivity may wear off on its own, you may also try a few alternatives:

• Brushing with toothpaste made for sensitive teeth

• Pausing the whitening method for several days to allow the teeth to adapt

• Wearing the trays or strips for a shorter time

• Asking your dentist for a fluoride product to remineralize your teeth

Gum Irritation

The hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide present in whitening agents may hurt your gums, causing irritation. Gingival irritation happens when the gums get exposed to teeth whitening products. During an office treatment, your dentist uses gel to prevent getting in contact with your gums.  

Mouth trays and whitening strips administered by your dentist are usually made to fit your teeth to avoid irritation with the gums.  

Enamel Erosion

Another common side effect of teeth whitening kits is enamel erosion. When the product has activated charcoal content, its coarse texture may easily scrape off your tooth’s enamel.  

Other products may also damage your enamel if the bleaching concentration is too high or the products are introduced to the teeth for a longer time.  

But why is losing the enamel a big deal? Your tooth enamel is essential since it serves as a protective layer for your teeth. Enamel erosion may lead to yellow and weak teeth, making them prone to further staining or damage.  

Effects on Dental Restorations

If you’ve already undergone dental restoration, then you should be more cautious with over-the-counter whitening products. Materials like the ones used for dental crowns and implants – for example – show the most resistance to peroxide.  

Relatively, studies show that whitening agents may have adverse effects on your dental amalgam as the peroxide gets in contact with the mercury leached from it. If you have a dental restoration and you want to whiten your teeth, it’s best to consult with your dentist to guide you with the best and safest option you can use.

Undesirable Results

Yes, spending money, time, and effort to whiten your teeth may still lead to undesirable results. With OTC teeth whitening kits, your teeth may not have a uniform color. Your teeth may need a higher concentration of bleaching solution to achieve desirable results. Or, maybe you didn’t get the correct and needed teeth whitening products for your teeth.  

With OTC teeth whitening kits, you can never be so sure what could go wrong or if you’d ever get the results you’re hoping for. Hence, all your efforts will just go to waste, not to mention the amount of money spend on useless items.  

How Can I Safely Whiten My Teeth?

While teeth whitening and its side effects are not mutually exclusive, it doesn’t mean you can never try it anymore. There are a few steps you can follow to achieve the results you’re hoping for without compromising the quality and health of your gums and teeth.  

Ask Your Dentist

This is rather common sense, but whatever product you introduce to your teeth and gums, you must consult with your trusted dentist first. Your dentist would listen to your concerns and perform necessary checkups and exams to decide on the best solution for your dental woes.  

Doing this also ensures that what you get is a personalized treatment plan designed for your dental needs and requirements.  

Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance

Unfortunately, you can’t trust every product you can see in your nearby drug store or pharmacy. Make sure to check for a product’s safety and authenticity. Once the product is ADA approved, it means that the product has passed the reviews and tests for its effectiveness.  

Follow Product Instructions

You may think you can fast-track your desired results by applying more for a longer time. However, this is not the case with teeth whitening, and doing so may only damage your teeth and gums.

Each product has specified instructions meant for you to follow to attain a beautiful smile. Overuse or incorrect use of these products increases the risk for potential damage, which may sometimes be hardly reversible.

Consult with Your Best Dentist in Reno  

There’s no cheat sheet you can opt for to whiten your teeth, and over-the-counter teeth whitening does not happen overnight. That’s why we recommend you get a professional teeth whitening treatment from your dentist instead.

At Smile Design Implant Center, we know the value of beautiful teeth, and we work hard to provide that to our customers. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to all dental needs; hence, we carefully design a customized treatment plan for you to get things done the right way. Call our friendly staff today, and together, let’s work to transform your smile.

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