What to Avoid When Whitening Your Teeth

When you have discolored or stained teeth, your dentist can use professional teeth whitening techniques to improve your smile. While there are many types of tooth whitening, there are similar things to avoid whether it be over the counter or prescription strength, such as the following.

Don’t Use Expired Products

You might get a good deal on teeth whitening products at the store but check the expiration date. These products are typically marked down when they’re close to expiring. Using expired whitening products means you won’t get the results you want. When they expire, the hydrogen peroxide in them breaks down and leaves only water and oxygen, which won’t brighten your teeth. Only use whitening products that aren’t near their expiration date, which gives you enough time to brighten your teeth while the hydrogen peroxide is still active and intact.

Don’t Store Products in Hot Areas

Exposure to heat makes the hydrogen peroxide in whitening products inactive. When you purchase whitening strips or other over-the-counter products, don’t store them in hot areas, such as near vents. Keep in mind that you can refrigerate them to help them last longer if you won’t be using them right away.

Don’t Use Whitening Products During Pregnancy

It’s best to avoid using teeth whitening products while you’re pregnant or nursing. These products might cause harm to your baby, although more research on this is needed. Talk to your dentist about when it’s safe for you to use whitening products after you’ve given birth or stopped nursing. 

Don’t Overuse Whitening Products

Since over-the-counter whitening products don’t always provide the results you want, you might be tempted to use them more often. However, overusing these products can end up making your teeth more sensitive to cold and heat. This happens when the hydrogen peroxide in these products causes pores to open in your teeth, which makes it easier for heat and cold to reach the nerves inside them. Only use whitening products for as long as recommended on the package. 

If you’re interested in having teeth whitening done professionally for better results, please contact Great Lakes Dental to schedule an appointment with our dentist.