Is there such a thing as whitening your teeth too much?
Everyone seems to want beautiful, bright white teeth – and it’s easy to understand why. Dingy and dull smiles can be easily transformed into cleaner, whiter and more attractive ones, which can help improve your appearance and your confidence. There’s lots of benefits to be gained by whitening your teeth – but is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
Well, as it turns out, it is possible to over-whiten your teeth – and this is far from a good thing. It can be tempting to try and get your teeth as white and bright as possible, in the mistaken belief that this will keep your teeth looking good for longer. However, overuse of whitening treatments can actually make your teeth look a lot worse over time, as well as causing lasting damage. Ironically, whitening too much or too often can eventually wear away your teeth’s protective enamel, allowing the internal structure of your teeth, which is more yellow in colour, to show through. Of course, this just perpetuates the problem. An obsession with having perfectly white teeth will lead some people to whiten their teeth into oblivion.
What causes people to over-whiten their teeth?
This can in part be due to the nature of whitening treatments. Whether you have whitening performed in the dentist’s chair or carry out the treatment yourself at home, it won’t last forever. Whitening is a temporary solution to the problem of stained or discoloured teeth. If you want your teeth to stay looking fresh and white, you’ll need to regularly touch up your whitening treatment – and many people make the mistake of whitening more regularly than they need to.
Of course, if you have your whitening treatment done in the dentist’s chair, you can rest assured that it will be done correctly and safely, and only as often as is necessary. Having an experienced dentist perform your whitening treatment means that you won’t have to worry about accidentally over-whitening your teeth and causing damage.
However, if you use a custom at-home whitening kit or one of the many not-so-safe whitening treatments that are out there, if can be easy for whitening junkies to over-whiten their teeth. Most whitening treatments will only change the colour of your teeth by several shades. This is how they’re designed – but it can be tempting to try the product for longer than is safe and in higher doses, to try and get the result you want. As well, stained and discoloured teeth won’t whiten as much as teeth which are clean and white. Thus, many people adopt the “more is better” approach to teeth whitening in a misguided attempt to get their teeth as white as possible for as long as possible.
This is a mistake, as making sure your teeth always look completely fresh and white is done at the expense of your dental health. Overusing whitening solution or whitening your teeth too often can lead to:
- Soft-tissue chemical burns
- Wearing away of the protective enamel on your teeth
- Thin, translucent teeth
- Weak and brittle teeth which are more prone to decay
- Chalky teeth
- Gum recession
- Gum irritation
- Extreme sensitivity
As well, over whitening can make your teeth look unnatural and fake. We’ve all seen that person with the gleaming, overly-white smile – and it’s not a good look. It just ends up drawing too much attention to your teeth. In reality, your natural teeth are not a pure white, but are more of a pearly shade. The best way to determine the optimal shade for your teeth is to try and match the colour of your teeth to the whites of your eyes. Going whiter than that will start to make your teeth look unnatural.
How to safely whiten your teeth
Teeth whitening is safe and effective when done in moderation and as recommended by your dentist. It’s when you go beyond what is recommended that you encounter problems. It’s far better to stick to the amounts and time frames prescribed by your dentist. Over whitening may cause your teeth to look and perform worse in the long run – and then you’ll need a great deal of dental intervention to fix the problems you’ve caused. It’s also best to have a check-up before starting any whitening procedures, as you’ll need to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy before starting any treatment.
If you’re not sure which whitening treatment might be best for you or need advice on any aspect of the whitening process, contact the tooth whitening experts in Melbourne, Lentini Dental, for advice. https://www.lentinidental.com.au/contact-us/