Teeth whitening strips and trays are great ways to brighten your smile. But it’s possible to overdo your teeth whitening regimen and end up harming your teeth.
Not sure if you’re hurting your teeth? Some of the biggest signs of overuse include:
- Excessive tooth sensitivity, especially to cold foods.
- Redness, irritation and bleeding in the gums.
- Translucent or blotchy teeth
The easiest way to avoid overuse is to follow the instructions that come with treatments. Most treatments are only supposed to be used for a two to four week period. After that, a once-a-month touch-up is probably sufficient to keep your teeth looking a healthy white. People who smoke or drink dark-colored liquids might need an update every two weeks.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations when you start a teeth whitening treatment. Trying to get the same smile as a Hollywood star isn’t realistic. Your teeth may not be as naturally white as Julia Robert’s and you, unlike magazine cover editors, can’t photoshop your smile.
Before starting a teeth whitening treatment that contains bleach, the American Dental Association recommends that you see your dentist. A dentist will be able to tell if you’re a good candidate for bleaching and can give you better idea about how quickly your teeth will change.