When you get your teeth whitened, it's easy to go a bit too far on the quest for a bright white smile! Here, our Whitehorse dentists offer advice on how to whiten your teeth without going too white.
Altering Your Smile With Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening can be a great way to alter the appearance of your smile. It is a generally low maintenance procedure.
That said, the process can definitely be overdone, resulting in teeth that look artificially white and unnatural.
Many patients simply aren’t sure when they should stop whitening. They want their teeth to look whiter but have a hard time identifying the right shade of white to aim for.
How can I tell when to stop?
To help our patients decide how white they should go, our dentists in Whitehorse recommend that they stick to the shade they initially settled on before beginning their whitening treatment. Your dentist will have a shade chart at the office that can help guide your whitening treatment process.
If you’re at home and trying to decide if you’re finished whitening or not, a good rule of thumb is that your teeth should be no whiter than the whites of your eyes. This is a good shade to aim for, as you can be sure it will look natural on you.
Another factor to consider is your skin tone. If your skin is on the lighter side, you can go with a whiter shade for your teeth as it will not contrast as much with your skin and therefore will blend more naturally.
For those with a darker complexion, we recommend staying away from the brightest side of the scale. This is because when you have your teeth whitened the goal is for the end result to look natural – like they haven't been whitened. If you go so far that your teeth look unnaturally white, then you will draw too much of the wrong type of attention.
Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
There are generally minimal side effects when it comes to teeth whitening, but too much of anything can lead to negative consequences. Below are some side effects associated with the teeth whitening process that can be more prominent with over whitening.
- Teeth Sensitivity - Teeth sensitivity is one of the most commonly reported side effects of teeth whitening. This can occur if the patient has weakened enamel or if the whitening is not properly administered. In-office whitening is the best way to minimize the risk of sensitivity during and after treatment as the dental professional can apply the bleaching agent in the safest way possible. Dentists often recommend certain treatments before whitening to reduce the risk of sensitivity. For example, dentists may recommend a patient with dental cavities receive dental fillings before the whitening procedure.
- Gum Irritation - Gum irritation can occur if the gums are not properly isolated or if the take-home or store-bought kit is not properly applied. Most patients do not experience any issues with gum irritation, particularly when it is performed in the office and administered by a dental professional.