Dental Advice : How to Make Homemade Teeth Whitener
6 Teeth-Whitening Mistakes You're Making
Thereistoo much of a good thing, even when it comes to whiter pearly whites. In your quest to spiffy up your less-than-stellar smile, be warned: You could be shooting yourself in the foot,er, mouth. Are you guilty of these six DIY teeth-whitening sins?
We're not gonna lie: Going to the dentist can be a drag. But it's crucial to go every six months, especially if you're thinking of whitening your smile. "You need to first make sure that you don't have decay," says Connie White DDS, a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. If your teeth are damaged and have holes in them, the bleaching products are going to seep into these crevices and hit nerves—which can mean major pain and severe damage to your teeth, says Dr. White.
Save your cash instead of springing for tooth-whitening mouthwashes. Just using a rinse probably won't give you the results you're after, says Dr. White. Plus, it could be doing more harm than good. "People need to be careful about mouth rinses because they can be very high in alcohol content, which could be harsh on the other parts of your mouth," she says.
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There's a reason why your box of white strips comes with time limit instructions, says Dr. White. Using them longer than you're supposed to can lead to unattractive splotching on your teeth and increased sensitivity, she says. Keep an eye on the clock when the strips are in, and limit your use of these products to twice a year.
Whitening can take a big bite out of your wallet, making it hard to resist budget-friendly options online. But fight the urge to immediately click "buy," says Dr. White. "People often purchase brands online and don't realize they're not FDA-approved." The problem: You could be getting chemical concentrations that can damage your teeth.
When you take it to an extreme—trying to get your ivories stark white—teeth lose their healthy sheen. "Instead of looking beautiful, they get a chalky look or white splotches and look really bad," says Dr. White. A good rule of thumb is that the color of your teeth should match the whites of your eyes.
While we'd all like to have Julia Robert's megawatt grin, everyone's smile is different, which means we shouldn't be using the same size tray to whiten our teeth. Custom trays make sure you get the bleach where you want it—and not everywhere else, Dr. White says. "If you go for an option that's not custom-sized, you can actually get chemical burns on your gums," she says. Talk to your dentist about getting a custom tray (trays for your whole mouth cost about 0). If you do go the store-bought route, be sure not to overfill the tray: "More material is not necessarily better!" says Dr. White.
Video: 10 Mistakes You Make While Taking Care of Your Teeth
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