5 Tips To Consider Before Whitening Your Teeth

If you are ready to head to the store and buy a home whitening kit for your teeth, there are some things you should consider before you hop in your car. Below are five tips you need to know before starting your whitening regime, whether at home or with the help of a professional dentist or hygenist.

Get an Evaluation from a Dentist 

Before you begin whitening your teeth, you should consult with a dentist to determine the best approach for your situation. Teeth turn yellow, brown, or gray for many different reasons. Sometimes discoloration is a sign of a deeper issue that will need to be fixed to achieve the smile you want. Also, whitening can use harsh chemicals that can aggravate gum problems or sensitive teeth, so it is is best to strengthen your gums and teeth before starting. This makes it important to have a full dental checkup before beginning a whitening program, even if you intend to whiten at home and not at the dentist's office. 

Use the Lowest Percent of Hydrogen Peroxide Possible While Achieving Your Desired Results

In the United States, the amount of hydrogen peroxide in whitening pastes and gels is not tightly regulated. This means that you can buy over-the-counter whitening kits that have high amounts of hydrogen peroxide and should only really be used under the close supervision of a dentist. In order to avoid damaging your teeth, it is a good idea to start with the lowest percent of hydrogen peroxide possible and make sure it is comfortable to use before increasing the amount of hydrogen peroxide or the frequency of whitening sessions. Even in a dental office, it is a good idea to start with a lower percentage of active agents for a short period during your first session to assess how your teeth and gums will react to the compounds. 

Go for a Natural Look Instead of Bright White 

Many people desire the bright white teeth they see in movies or magazines. However, in person, these bright smiles can be unsettling. It is best to go for a natural look, which is often off-white or slightly yellow, rather than try to achieve a pure white smile. A dentist can help determine the perfect shade of white for your teeth based on your gums and skin tone. 

Understand Why Your Teeth Are Not White 

Your teeth may not be white for many reasons. First, very few people have naturally bright white teeth. Second, your enamel may erode as you age or if you have a highly acidic diet. Finally, your teeth may stain if you smoke, drink dark beverages, or eat staining foods such as some berries. The reason for your discoloration will determine the best method for whitening your teeth. For example, if your teeth are gray due to erosion of the enamel, you will not want to use an acid to whiten them as this will cause further erosion. However, if your teeth are stained, a weak acid may be appropriate. 

Know the Dangers of Natural Whitening Methods

Many people assume that because a product is "natural," it is safe to use. This may make you consider using home remedies for whitening such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. While these substances may remove stains, using them too frequently can weaken your enamel, which can lead to tooth decay, pain, and sensitivity. They can also irritate your gums. For many people, it is a better option to go to a dentist from a place like Sun Dental  and use whitening gels than to try to determine the appropriate natural approach to teeth whitening.