It is easier to greet the world with a beautiful smile, and proper dental hygiene, including teeth whitening, can have a positive effect on your self-esteem և and, moreover, on the perception of others.

So Ran Kwon, DDS, MS, PhD, MS, Director, Student Research, Center for Dental Research, Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, offers seven teeth whitening tips for tooth safety.

  1. Consult your dentist for the best teeth whitening options.

    There are several reasons for losing the natural whiteness of teeth. The dentist will examine your teeth և provide a tooth color analysis that includes the cause of the darkening of your teeth, the fact that existing restorations may not change color և recommendations for a teeth whitening regimen to suit your needs. Two categories of whitening treatment that is supervised by a dentist include re-use of toothpicks at home or office treatment using higher concentrations of whitening that can be activated in the light. According to Kwon, higher concentrations in the office whiten teeth faster, but the final color of the teeth will be the same by any method.

  2. Over-the-counter products are good alternatives to bleaching.

    After consulting with your dental supplier, over-the-counter products such as whitening strips found at any local supermarket provide a whitening alternative. They are available in different concentrations, and individuals must follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Kwon says the layers work, but warns against abusing those products. Studies have shown that teeth whitening products can reduce the strength of teeth. Teeth whitening can also cause subtle surface changes to existing restorations, Kwon says, but more research is needed to assess the changes. Kwon encourages you to follow the manufacturer’s recommended frequency.

  3. Beware of home remedies.

    There are many types of teeth whitening on the Internet, says Kwon. Some of these options avoid chemicals. However, current studies show that natural ingredients, such as strawberries, coconut oil, and charcoal, can remove surface stains but do not change tooth color.

  4. Refrain from high-color foods and drinks.

    Your beautiful whitened teeth can be preserved. Sorry, coffee lovers, but this is one of the worst culprits for tooth decay. It is best to avoid drinks such as coffee, carbonated beverages or sports drinks that are rich in color immediately after bleaching. Also, high-acid foods should be avoided after teeth whitening, such as oranges and strawberries. According to Kwon, after teeth whitening, saliva takes time to form a natural protective layer around tooth surfaces.

  5. Consult a dentist if you suffer from tooth sensitivity.

    People with tooth sensitivity may whiten their teeth, says Kwon. The key is to talk to your dentist first. Most dentists will initiate a reduction regimen, including applying fluoride or potassium nitrate to the teeth two weeks before whitening.

  6. Use toothpaste և toothpaste և mouthwash as a care.

    Individuals who have recently whitened their teeth are encouraged to maintain proper care without prescription toothpaste or mouthwash. They can be used as a regular care to remove stains, says Kwon. Whether you have used prescription whitening strips or visited a dentist to whiten your teeth, teeth whitening toothpaste և mouthwash is safe to use.

  7. Touch-Ups:

    Whether individuals use over-the-counter teeth whitening products or seek dental help, the effects of any method usually last for up to three years. The discoloration may slowly return, but will not return to its original, pre-treatment state, Kwon said. To preserve those pearly whites, he advises making contacts if you notice a relapse.

The two main negative effects of teeth whitening are tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. Tooth sensitivity due to whitening is usually associated with a cold, but often occurs as a spontaneous sharp pain or “tingling” limited to one or more teeth. Gum irritation is usually temporary and goes away quickly after teeth whitening. Consult your dentist if sensitivity or irritation persists.

To avoid adverse effects on the gums, Kwon recommends consulting a dentist who can determine the best treatment plan. Remember that each tooth reacts differently. Kwon says that teeth whitening not only whitens your teeth, but more importantly, motivates you to take better care of your teeth – it will improve the overall health of your mouth.

For more information on teeth whitening և resources, visit the School of Dentistry Clinic website.