You've decided to whiten your smile, but want to be sure you do it safely and effectively to reduce the risk of a negative experience or potential side effects. Our Delta BC dentists share some advice on safe teeth whitening practices to follow each time you whiten your teeth.
Safe Teeth Whitening
Looking in the mirror, you admire your smile but wonder if it could be whiter and brighter. The answer may be yes. You can talk to your Delta dentist to find out if at-home teeth whitening is an option for you. These systems can help to temporarily whiten your teeth, and you can use them in the comfort of home.
That said, understanding safe teeth whitening practices and following them is a must. Here are some tips we recommend our patients keep in mind:
Use a dentist-approved teeth whitening method
While there are several teeth whitening methods available today, from over-the-counter treatments to at-home tips you'll find online and even treatments for sale online, not all of them are safe for your teeth. Always ask your dentist before trying any teeth whitening method. At Scott 72 Dental Centre, we offer an at-home teeth whitening system. Our dental team is also available to answer any questions you may have or address concerns during appointments.
Clear, custom-made plastic trays are fabricated to fit your mouth specifically. You'll have a chance to try on your new trays to ensure they fit properly and have any necessary adjustments made.
Follow all instructions closely
Similar to other treatments of a cosmetic nature, closely following the instructions you'll receive with your whitening trays is key to a safe, positive teeth whitening experience. After taking your trays home, you'll need to wear them with the whitening solution twice a day, for 30 minutes over a two-week period. You might need to wear them longer, depending on the degree of staining on your teeth and which shade of white you desire.
Keep an eye out for side effects
Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening, but it should wear off shortly after you have stopped your bleaching treatment. If you are concerned about this or any other side effects that do not seem to go away, contact your dentist. We're here to answer any questions, guide you through the process and offer professional advice.
Allow for a post-whitening buffer period
Since teeth are porous, food and beverages that can stain teeth can make their way into the pores more easily during this time. Therefore, we recommend allowing 48 hours for your enamel to recover and rebuild following teeth whitening. Avoid food and drinks with heavy staining power such as coffee, red wine, red sauce, berries and others. Keep in mind that if it will stain your favourite white t-shirt, it will stain your teeth.
Maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine
Building a foundation of excellent at-home oral hygiene is critical to the health of your teeth and gums. That won't change once you begin to whiten your teeth, so don't forget to brush at least twice daily and floss once per day to ensure your teeth stay healthy.
Visit your dentist regularly
Even with our at-home whitening methods, professional dental cleanings and exams are key to keeping your smile white and healthy. We recommend visiting your dentist a month or two before you plan to whiten to keep your smile its whitest.