If your teeth are stained, yellowed and dulled, you may be considering whitening them. Whitening is one of the most sought-after treatments in dental offices worldwide. You may have even walked down your local dental aisle at the store to be met with dozens of different whitening treatments. Knowing what to avoid can help to preserve your smile and keep it as healthy as possible.
Many home remedies recommend using abrasives to scrape the teeth of any surface stains. These often include straight baking soda or even sea salt. Unfortunately, these abrasives aren’t just removing the stains from your teeth. They are creating small nicks in the enamel which can cause issues with sensitivity and tooth decay.
Acidic Foods and Acids
One of the most toted home whitening methods seen is to use acidic fruits, like lemons and strawberries, to remove stains. Unfortunately, the acids in these fruits can break down enamel and even cause small white spots to form. These white spots are called white-spot lesions, or WSLs, and they can be unsightly and detrimental to the health of your teeth.
It might be tempting to over-whiten your teeth to always have the perfect smile, but this is doing your teeth a disservice. Over-whitening can cause unnecessary wear to the enamel and may even cause your teeth to look transparent. It’s best to stick to whitening your teeth just once every few months to once a year.
It is always a good idea for you to consult with a dentist before whitening your teeth. If you have dental problems that need treatment, whitening is only masking the issue. For example, people may turn to whitening if one or more of their teeth appear “dark”. However, this can be a sign of decay that requires immediate dental treatment to fix.
Trying to Whiten Restorations
Even the very best professional whitening kits won’t whiten restorations that you have in your mouth. These include veneers, bridges, crowns, bonding and fillings. Whitening may only lighten them to their original shade, but it won’t get them any whiter than they were when they were first placed. It is best to consider either replacing these restorations or whitening your teeth before having them placed.
If you’d like to talk more about whitening and how it would work for you, call us today so that we can get you in for a consultation appointment.