The lure of being able to get white teeth in your own home for a few dollars and a few minutes of your time is compelling. But you may not realize the precautions that a cosmetic dentist takes when they do a professional whitening treatment. Their goal is your safety and to make sure that you get the best results possible. Here are some of the common reasons to not try whitening your teeth at home and to leave that up to your dentist.
You'll Get Spotty Results If Your Teeth Aren't Clean
Your dentist will do a thorough teeth cleaning before applying the whitening agent. They will scrape off plaque and tartar that prevent the agent from reaching the tooth enamel. Even if you do a good job brushing at home before you use a whitening kit, you can leave material on your teeth. This results in light and dark spots where the whitening agent was blocked by tartar and plaque.
You'll Have Pain Where Tooth Decay Exists
Even the smallest of pits and cavities in your teeth can cause a painful reaction when the whitening agent hits them. If the decay occurs near or under the gum line, your gums will become irritated. Your dentist will fill these small areas to make sure that you're comfortable during the treatment.
Your Mouth, Lips and Gums Can Become Irritated By the Whitening Agent
Your dentist uses a rubber barrier to hold the whitening agent on your teeth and prevent it from getting onto the soft tissues in and around your mouth. If your home kit contains a barrier, it will be a one-size-fits-all design that can let the agent escape into your mouth. Some kits don't have a barrier which puts you at risk of having your mouth irritated by the chemical.
You May Need to Use the Home Kit Several Times Before You See Results
The strength of the whitening agent in home kits is less than what your dentist uses. You may need to use several kits to see any results. You will see results after the first session with your dentist. If you try whitening your own teeth at home, you will likely have to repeat the process many times if your teeth are stained from food, medication or smoking.
The do-it-yourself home whitening approach may be painful, time consuming and need to be repeated. You can avoid this by visiting your dentist and letting them brighten your teeth for you. For more information, contact Jay A Hollander DDS or a similar dental professional.