Teeth whitening is a very common procedure. A survey from AACD shows that 65% of men and 77% of women have whitened their teeth at some point in their life. Whitening your teeth can change your life. Most people who have undergone it experience a boost to their self-esteem. Even more, they can now smile with confidence. 

If you are new to teeth whitening, you may wonder if the procedure is safe and won’t cause any damage to your teeth. The safety and effectiveness of teeth whitening procedure depends on a handful of factors. Everything from the whitening kit you use to the experience of the dentist who performs the whitening procedure can make a huge difference. 

It is worth noting that teeth whitening has side effects. But you shouldn’t be too worried as these side effects aren’t very serious. As long as you follow the directions in the whitening kit you purchased or you visit a reputable dentist to carry out the procedure, everything will turn out great. 

This article will shed light on some of the major causes of teeth discoloration, the best ways to whiten your teeth, and some side effects you may experience if you whiten your teeth. 

What causes tooth discoloration?

Dentists categorize tooth discoloration into two categories. Below is an overview of each of them. 

Intrinsic discoloration 

This is when the discoloration is from inside your tooth. It is caused by serious infection, aging, certain medications, and illness during childhood. 

Getting your teeth professionally bleached is the most effective way to address this type of discoloration. 

Extrinsic discoloration 

This is when only the outer layer of the tooth is discolored. People who have a habit of drinking wine, coffee, and food with dyes may have this type of tooth discoloration. 

You can address extrinsic discoloration by using teeth-whitening toothpaste

Teeth whitening- Best ways to whiten your teeth 

Since there are many products and procedures for whitening their teeth, most people usually get overwhelmed, as they don’t know the one that will suit them best. Below are some of the main types of teeth whitening. 

  1. Over-the-counter products or homemade products can whiten teeth 
  2. Whitening Procedure performed by your dentist 
  3. Whitening products are dispensed by your dentist for you to use at home. 

Choosing between the above methods may be challenging. Here are some factors that will help you determine the one you pick. 

  • The nature of the discoloration you have
  • Your age 
  • The cost of the treatment 
  • Your dental history (If you have a pre=exisiting dental condition and have crowns and fillings)

While you have the freedom to try any method you want, it is best you consult your dentist before making a final decision. Your dentist is in the best position to recommend a treatment plan that will suit your unique needs. 

Always remember that the time, safety, and effectiveness of the whitening procedure depends on the type of discoloration you have and the method you opt for to whiten your teeth. 

Side Effects of Teeth Whitening 

Granted, teeth whitening is safe and usually doesn’t cause any serious issues, but there is a chance that you may experience some side effects. Below are some of them. 

Irritated gum 

This is also known as gingival irritation. It occurs when the whitening products come in contact with your gum. This irritation will go away after you receive treatment from your dentist. 

Teeth sensitivity 

You are likely going to experience some level of tooth sensitivity on the first or second day after a teeth whitening procedure. The sensitivity will reduce after a while, so you don’t have to be worried. Your dentist may suggest that you use products with sodium fluoride and potassium nitrate to reduce the sensitivity

Teeth whitening – Maintainance 

After a teeth whitening procedure, you are going to have a great smile and your confidence level will go up. To keep your teeth white, you have to avoid or reduce your consumption of food and beverages that can stain your teeth. Also, you have to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth with an electric or bamboo toothbrush after eating foods that can potentially discolor your teeth

Final note 

See, it is always best to follow your dentist’s recommendation when it comes to teeth whitening. They have years of experience under their belt and can determine the safest and most effective method. Over-the-counter whitening kits are great and may deliver amazing results. Be sure to inform your dentist before using them. If you happen to experience any side effects after undergoing a whitening procedure or after using any whitening product you should consult your dentist.