4 Things You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening Before You DIYThe development of teeth whitening products has been revolutionary and the results are life-changing. Pursuing a brighter, whiter smile transforms your grin into a memorable feature for all good reasons. Even if your teeth aren’t perfectly aligned, even if you have a few gaps between your teeth, even if your teeth are uneven or overlapping, teeth whitening is the speedy solution that will alter your smile so dramatically that you’ll look healthier, happier, and smarter.

Plenty of people believe in the power of teeth whitening and, as a result, attempt to whiten their teeth themselves. DIY teeth whitening can be successful, but there are several facts you need to know before you attempt to brighten up on your own.

1. Your gums and teeth might be sensitive.

It doesn’t matter if your teeth have always been immune to extreme hot or cold. The components in many over-the-counter teeth whitening products will quickly act on your teeth and gums – and you’ll find out soon enough whether you’re sensitive to the materials. Opting for a professional teeth whitening treatment from your dentist is the wisest course of action for several reasons: a professional whitening treatment includes mouth guards and desensitizing treatments so your discomfort is minimized, plus, if you are showing sensitivity to the bleaching agents, these could be signs of other dental problems that have taken root out of sight, like tooth decay or gingivitis. Being in your dentist’s good hands at times like these are the key to maintaining good oral health across the board. Boost your career success with a smile makeover >>

2. You can get addicted to teeth whitening.

Some people adore the immediate results they get from over-the-counter teeth whitening strips and their counterparts. As a result, it’s tempting to overuse these resources. It’s understandable – after having stained or discolored teeth and suddenly discovering a product that transforms your smile so tremendously, of course you want more, more, more. But your gums and teeth may revolt from sensitivity (see above), or your teeth may begin to show signs of overzealous whitening when the enamel appears to be transparent or even tinted blue. Unlucky in love? Your teeth may be ruining your love life >>

3. Over-the-counter products aren’t long-lasting or consistent.

The bleaching agents in the over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments you choose aren’t as powerful as the bleaching agents in a professional teeth whitening treatment. The OTC products work – but the glorious results may not last very long, and this can also lead to an abuse of the whitening brand. Choosing to have your teeth whitened in your dentist’s office ensure that you are undergoing the most effective teeth whitening treatment available, and being exposed to the most powerful bleaching agents. Plus, if you are whitening teeth that have tooth-colored restorations, dental bonding, crowns, or veneers, the porcelain and composites will not bleach. In fact, if you had these cosmetic dentistry procedures completed, they should still be in beautiful, white shape if done well – if not, then that’s a discussion you should be having with your cosmetic dentist about upgrading your dental work (which could eliminate the need for teeth whitening entirely) or learning better techniques for preventive care. Teeth change as you age: Is it time to restore your smile? >>

4. There are different types of tooth stains that will affect the whitening results.

Teeth have two kinds of stains: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic tooth stains is discoloration that is within the tooth – for some people, their teeth are simply yellower or darker than they would like. You won’t be able to make a dent in this complaint with DIY teeth whitening, or in-office whitening for that matter. An all-encompassing solution is necessary for a major whitening of your smile, like porcelain veneers. Extrinsic stains are on the surface of the teeth and this discoloration is caused by normal wear and tear, your love of coffee or dark wines, and the simple build-up of plaque. Proper preventive care and bi-annual dental cleanings and exams can help keep your teeth in tip-top shape, but if you feel like deeper whitening is necessary, talk to Dr. Shaista Najmi at Ivory Dental in Jacksonville, Florida, to learn more about professional in-office teeth whitening and the best options that are available for your smile.