Teeth Whitening: The Do’s and Don’ts

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Teeth Whitening: The Do’s and Don’ts

A recent survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry showed that 80% of Americans aged 18 to 49 want whiter teeth.

Since almost everyone wants whiter teeth, there is an explosion of in-home and DIY options on the Internet for teeth whitening, along with many professional options as well. But as with most things on the Internet, it’s best not to trust everything your read or see.

The Do’s of Teeth Whitening 

Ask Dr. Davidson What Is Right For You!

Since there are so many teeth whitening options out there and each mouth is uniquely different, it’s very important that you check-in with Dr. Davidson about which treatment is right for mouth. Especially if you’ve had any recent dental work, you’ll want to make sure that the teeth whitening procedure doesn’t leave you with different colored teeth.

The two types of teeth whitening that we usually recommend are  Zoom Teeth Whitening and an in-home-bleaching system.

Keep Up With Twice Annual Cleanings

In addition to checking in with Dr. Davidson about teeth whitening, you’ll want to keep up with your twice annual hygiene visits. If any of your teeth have plaque or tartar buildup, you’ll need to get that taken care of first. Also, some teeth whitening agents can negatively affect any open caries.

Know What Foods and Products Stain Teeth

Stain Teeth

You probably know that if you’re using tobacco, you’re not doing your teeth or your health any favors. But there are lots of healthy foods that can also stain your teeth.

Here’s a rule of thumb: if a food can stain a white carpet, they can stain your teeth. These foods include coffee, dark juices, red wine, tea, blackberries, food dyes, etc.

If you really want to have white teeth, you might want to lower your intake of these foods. Or, if you do eat these foods, make sure to swish with water or brush your teeth immediately after consuming them.

Follow Teeth-Whitening Instructions

Don’t let whitening agents sit on your teeth any longer than you’re instructed to. Doing so could damage teeth or increase tooth and gum sensitivity.

The Don’t’s of Teeth Whitening

Don’t Use Charcoal, Baking Soda or Lemon Juice

Activated charcoal and baking soda are abrasive, and can damage your enamel. Not only that, but they will make your teeth more porous which will make them more prone to staining!

And unless you want your teeth to look like your teenage hair did when you put lemon juice on it in summer, you don’t want to put lemon juice on your teeth (or anything acidic for that matter).

Don’t Whiten Your Teeth If You’re Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Best to err on the side of caution here since there isn’t enough data to prove whether whitening your teeth while pregnant or breastfeeding is safe for your baby.

Don’t Store In-Home Teeth Whitening Products in Sunlight or Heat

Heat and sunlight can damage the whitening agents and therefore, waste your time and money.

These are just some of the do’s and don’ts of teeth whitening, so if you have any more questions, feel free to give us a call at (510) 352-9212.