Whitening your teeth at home has never been easier with so many whitening kits available for purchase at anywhere from cosmetic shops like Sephora to grocery stores. Some of the more popular whitening kits include Crest 3D Whitestrips and GLO Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Devices. Although such “DIY” style teeth whitening may seem safe and effective, it is still important to discuss whitening treatment options with your dentist prior to using them. In fact, even the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that people should see a dentist prior to undergoing any sort of teeth whitening by a non-dentist.
Although many of us equate a bright, white smile with healthy teeth, the ADA warns that white teeth may not necessarily be healthy teeth. For instance, teeth naturally yellow with age regardless of oral health. Additionally, ultra white spots on your teeth could suggest that you have too much fluoride in your diet or act as an indicator of calcium deficiency. A consultation with your dentist prior to starting a home whitening program is crucial for many reasons. First, a dentist can supervise your teeth as you are using a whitening program.
For instance, your dentist could prevent you from experiencing the effects of over-bleaching, which include uneven color spots or even a bluish hue. Additionally, it is important to have healthy gums as diagnosed by a dentist because whitening can cause gum irritation in certain cases. Another common side effect of whitening is heightened teeth sensitivity. Dentists can predict whether or not you will experience sensitivity issues and recommend products like special sensitivity toothpastes accordingly. Finally, sometimes you don’t even need a whitening kit for whiter teeth! In some cases, a simple scaling and professional cleaning procedure is sufficient for a brighter smile.
Dr. David McFadden, a professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the University of Texas says, “For someone with deep cavities, the bleach can have an unimpeded route to the blood vessels, nerves and bone at the root of the tooth. It can potentially cause a bad toothache or precipitate an infection.” A dentist can quickly spot developing cavities and treat them prior to any whitening regimen to avoid pain or infections.
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