How White Should Teeth Be?
There are plenty of advantages to having white teeth, including the confidence to smile in pictures, good self-esteem, and a pat on the back from your dentist. But sometimes, tooth whitening can be taken too far. Whitening your teeth too much or too often can actually damage your teeth and lead to other problems.
Finding Your Ideal Shade of White Teeth
Advancements in dental technology have made it possible for anyone to transform the color of their teeth and get a whiter smile. But this whitening craze has been known to go too far. Like most things, smile whitening is best done in moderation and with the help of a dentist. In fact, your dentist can not only help you find the best whitening treatment for you, but they can also help find your ideal shade. Even though the choice is ultimately up to you, a good rule of thumb to follow is to make sure your teeth aren’t any whiter than the whites of your eyes for the most natural appearance.
What Happens If You Whiten Too Much
Over-whitening your teeth is a very real possibility that comes with very real consequences. Whitening your teeth too much can cause enamel erosion, which is not only impossible to reverse but can also lead to serious problems such as:
- Darker Teeth – The whole goal of whitening your teeth is to get a brighter smile. However, over-whitening that erodes your enamel can cause teeth to appear translucent and, as a result, darker than they did before whitening.
- Increased Sensitivity – One of the main side effects of smile whitening is tooth sensitivity. Most of the time this sensitivity is temporary, however, when teeth are exposed to too many whitening treatments or too often sensitivity can become severe and last a long time.
- Irritated Gums – Bleaching your teeth can also cause gum irritation, especially if too much of the bleach is allowed to touch and stay on the gums for the entire duration of the treatment. This is why a custom whitening tray is usually the best way to whiten your teeth.
- Decay – Without the protection of enamel, teeth are left exposed to damaging bacteria and acids that increase the risk of tooth decay and cavities.
It’s important to note that while most smile whitening treatments are safe, you should absolutely talk with your dentist before buying any over-the-counter tooth whitening treatment.
A brighter, whiter smile is possible, we just want you to do it safely. When whitening your teeth at home, follow all directions, don’t leave the whitening treatment on for longer than recommended, and only whiten your teeth as directed on the label. Better yet, schedule a professional whitening treatment with your dentist. Professional whitening is often the safest option since you’ll be observed by your dental team the entire time. Additionally, smile whitening treatments aren’t the best choice for everyone, and your dentist will be able to tell you whether or not you’ll be able to get the smile you want through a whitening treatment… or if you should consider other forms of cosmetic dentistry.