If taking good care of your teeth isn’t getting them white enough, it might be time to seek out dedicated whitening. Over-the-counter whiteners are safe and effective when used as recommended. Choose one that seems easy to use. If you can’t use the system properly, you are more likely to get unsatisfactory results.
Follow the instructions carefully and you will likely see some degree of success with this type of whitener. However, there are several potential problems we see related to at-home whiteners, including:
- Gum irritation
- Uneven whitening
- Insufficient whitening
If you get whitener on your gums, they can become irritated, usually red and painful. They may bleed. This could be the result of the whitener trays and strips, which often allow whitener to leak out or come in direct contact with your gums.
Uneven whitening often occurs when a tray doesn’t fit properly on your teeth so that not all get exposed to the whitening solution. Whitening strips are even harder to use uniformly. This means that part of your smile gets whitened, but some doesn’t. The result of partly white teeth with dark stains on them doesn’t strike most people as an attractive look.
Finally, over-the-counter whiteners just aren’t very strong. They might not be able to remove all the stains from wine, coffee, chocolate, berries, and more foods and beverages that stain your teeth. However, never use multiple home whiteners at the same time. They are not designed to be used together, and this can be harmful to your teeth.