Tooth whitening is a standard method for enhancing your smile. You can do this at home or by going to the dentist. Even though over-the-counter whiteners have progressed, they are not as effective as having your teeth whitened by a dentist.

Teeth whitening treatments can cause side effects. However, the side effects do not last unless you are over-whitening your teeth and are doing it all the time. If you overdo it, your teeth can become sensitive.

If you decide to whiten your teeth with an over-the-counter whitener, talk to your dentist about which product they recommend. Reading this article will help you find out more about teeth whitening products.

Can Teeth Whitening Treatments Cause Problems?

Teeth Whitening MedfordTeeth whitening treatments can cause side effects because over-the-counter whitening products contain a bleaching ingredient. It can either be hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. If used correctly, the bleaching ingredients will decrease or eliminate yellowing or staining.

Over-the-counter products contain less bleach than dentist formulations. It also takes these products longer for the teeth to whiten. It is always essential to follow the directions when using these items. Some of the side effects of using teeth whitening products include the following:

Teeth Sensitivity

Teeth sensitivity is caused by the bleaching ingredient soaking into the tooth’s dentin, which renders the nerves vulnerable or exposed. This bleaching causes the teeth to become sensitive to cold or hot drinks or acidic foods.

Whiteners that do not contain a bleaching ingredient like carbamide peroxide do not cause as much tooth sensitivity. Over-the-counter products, such as whitening gels, usually trigger more sensitivity in the teeth.

Gum Irritation

Bleaching ingredients are strong chemicals that can cause gum irritation and sometimes even pain. This problem is not likely to occur if a dentist administers tooth whitening. Over-the-counter whiteners come with a one size fits all mouthguard.

It is not as reliable as a custom-made mouthguard, and the product could leak into the gums. The sensitivity depends on how long contact has lasted with the whitening product and its concentration.

Over the years, numerous over-the-counter tooth whitening products have been recalled due to high levels of hydrogen peroxide.

Uneven Whitening

Some teeth may come out whiter than others ones. Each tooth will respond differently to whitening. The structure of the teeth influences the outcome of bleaching. Teeth with less calcium will bleach more quickly.

Your dentist can provide a custom-fitted tray that permits the solution to coat each tooth evenly. Whitening strips do not cover the whole tooth and often produce undesirable results. Also, any restorative dentistry you have had, such as fillings or crowns, will not respond to bleaching.

What Are the Causes of Teeth Stains?

Teeth can be stained due to different causes, and there are two major types of stains. There is intrinsic staining, which is internal, and extrinsic staining, which is external.

Extrinsic Staining

Extrinsic stains affect the tooth enamel. These stains are created from long-term damage to teeth. This staining can be caused by the following:

  • Smoking
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Red wine
  • Acidic fruit

Extrinsic staining is not as difficult to remove as intrinsic stains. You can whiten extrinsic stains with over-the-counter remedies, such as whitening toothpaste or strips.

Intrinsic Staining 

Intrinsic stains occur within the tooth’s dentin, which is the layer of the tooth before the enamel. Some of the causes of this type of staining include the following:

  • Medications
  • Desensitization to fluoride
  • Diseases
  • Internal bleeding
  • Aging

This type of staining is more challenging to treat. It requires the intervention of a dentist. Veneers and dental bonding are the safest bets for intrinsic whitening stains.

What Are Ways to Whiten Teeth?

There are different ways to whiten teeth, and you should talk to your Medford dentist about which one would be appropriate for you. Whitening toothpaste tends to be the least invasive. The following are all the ways you can whiten teeth:

  • Toothpaste
  • Strips
  • Gels
  • Rinses
  • Tray-based solutions

Overuse of teeth whiteners can lead to side effects. Tray-based treatments need to be worn every day until the treatment is over.

What Is the Best Over the Counter Kit to Whiten Teeth?

Many products whiten teeth. You should talk to your dentist if you have any questions.

Snow Cosmetics, LLC Snow ™ Amazon $  149.95
Hismile Hismile Whitening Kit™ Amazon $  123.90
Smile Direct Club Smile Direct Club™ Amazon $    66.98
Zimba Store Zimba Teeth Whitening™ Amazon $    50.00
Colgate ™ Colgate Pro Whitening Amazon $  154.99

Over-the-counter kits are much more advanced than in prior years. They tout that they are easier for your tooth’s integrity, do a better job, and most have light accelerators included in the kit.

Learn more about Teeth Whitening Treatment at GIO Dental in Medford, MA

As a general rule, teeth whitening is a safe way to improve the appearance of your teeth. Side effects tend to be short-term unless you are bleaching your teeth constantly. In general, teeth whitening is risk-free and can be a great method to improve one’s smile and confidence at the same time. Before beginning, or if you require advice on the best techniques for your specific teeth and oral health, contact GIO Dental for guidance. We offer take-home or professional in-office whitening treatments, both with customized mouth trays for a better fit. Call our office today at (781) 777-1812 to learn more.