How Safe Are Home Whitening Strips

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A brilliant white smile no longer has to be something you only see in magazine ads and on television thanks to advances made in at home whitening products. While early forms of teeth whitening were either too expensive or unreliable, today most over-the-counter brands can offer the same kind of dramatic improvement to the brightness of your smile as professional treatments offered by Clackamas cosmetic dentist Dr. Jeremy Suess.

While most over-the-counter whitening products have passed rigorous standards to ensure their safety, these types of products can be easy to abuse unless used as directed. To keep your teeth and gums healthy while improving your smile, try using these basic whitening tips.

Check with Clackamas Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Suess

Before starting any at home whitening regimen, you need to first consult with Dr. Suess to determine if your teeth are healthy enough to undergo treatment. Certain oral health conditions, such as tooth sensitivity, can become worse when repeatedly exposed to the chemicals used in teeth whitening products.

You should also undergo a checkup and routine cleaning before beginning any whitening program. A checkup will allow Dr. Suess to check for any cavities, which need to be treated prior to using any teeth whitening products to prevent already weakened enamel for suffering permanent damage. A dental cleaning prior to teeth whitening will help to remove any built up plaque and tartar from your teeth, which will help improve the effectiveness of any whitening products you use.

You should also take the time to ask Dr. Suess for a recommendation of a safe whitening product that will adequately meet your needs. Some causes of tooth discoloration, such as from enamel thinning, are untreatable by any whitening product. Before spending the money to purchase a teeth whitening product, make sure that the cause of your tooth discoloration can be treated.

Shop Wisely

While the term teeth bleaching may not sound very inviting, it does represent an accurate description of the process. The majority of whitening products contain peroxides, a typical bleaching agent, that can range anywhere from 10 to 20 percent in concentration.

Whitening products achieve their results by stripping the stains from your teeth just as using bleach removes stains from clothing. Since you never know how your teeth might react to the use of this kind of astringent chemical, you should consider starting a whitening regime using a product with a bleaching agent in the mid-range- not the highest or lowest on the scale.

Once you determine how your teeth react to the peroxide a product contains, you can move to a higher or lower dosage depending on the results you receive. To ensure the safety of any whitening product, look for the American Dental Associations seal of approval.

Follow Directions

It’s easy to become impatient when starting a whitening program, especially if you’re anxious to see immediate results. However, when it comes to whitening your teeth, more doesn’t mean better.

Leaving strips or gels on your teeth longer than the instructions state won’t quicken the whitening process, and could irritate gum tissue. Using a whitening product more often than instructed can also lead to gum irritation and inflammation, which increases your risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. So while you might desire immediate results, don’t start any whitening program without being prepared to be patient.