Coffee, tea, pop, smoking, and even dyes in food can cause discoloration of your teeth. If you are unable to remove these stains or discolorations with brushing, you may be considering whitening/bleaching your teeth. If so, we recommend that you only seek whitening services provided by a dentist and not the at-home kits or even salon services you may come across.
The primary concern with any at-home kits (or non-dental professional provided service) is the strength and/or ingredients in these kits. Many kits use hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, or an abrasive product in their kits. These ingredients can actually cause more harm than good. Anything too abrasive will damage your enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. The same goes for too much peroxide of any kind. Damaged enamel can leave you open to bigger dental problems like tooth decay. Even though these kits focus on the teeth, you may discover that the mouth guard or strips provided do not fit your teeth perfectly. The problem with this is if the gel or cream used in a kit touches your gums excessively (or is too strong), you may experience gum irritation or even chemical burns. Due to this, many countries have limits on the amount of peroxide at-home kits can have.
At-home kits also do not take into consideration any existing dental problems you have like tooth sensitivity, crowns, and gum problems. A dentist can adjust the amount of the products used during your whitening to not cause you any additional discomfort in any sensitive areas. Crowns, veneers, bridges, etc. cannot be whitened, but a dentist has the ability to match the coloring of your semi-permanent dental fixtures, to allow for a more natural looking smile.
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, call our office at 317-882-4028 to schedule an appointment to discuss if teeth whitening is right for you.