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Can You Whiten Your Teeth Too Much?  

added on: December 23, 2020

There are so many ways to get a whiter smile these days. From over-the-counter whitening strips to a professional whitening treatment from your dentist in The Woodlands, getting a bright, white smile is no longer reserved for only celebrities. Usually, we interpret a white smile as a healthy, attractive smile, but can you whiten your teeth too much? Let’s find out. 

Over-Whitening Is Possible

Even though we all strive for a beautiful, white smile, there is such a thing as over-whitening. In fact, teeth that are too white can have the opposite effect that we were trying to achieve in the first place and can cause some problems. Some common negatives that go along with over-whitening include:

  • Enamel Erosion – Enamel erosion can occur from too much exposure to whitening ingredients. Enamel erosion increases the risk of decay as well as other oral problems including darker teeth and sensitivity, which we’ll take a look at next. 
  • Darker Teeth – As the enamel erodes away it can also cause teeth to appear more translucent as more of the naturally darker inner tooth becomes visible. 
  • Tooth Sensitivity – Additionally, a lack of tooth enamel leaves teeth at increased risk for sensitivity. Sometimes, over-whitening can lead to constant tooth sensitivity and a lot of pain. 
  • Gum Irritation – If too much of the whitening solution makes contact with the gum tissue it can cause irritation. 

An easy, yet unofficial way to find out how white your teeth should be is to try to match them to the whites of your eyes. 

How to Safely Whiten Your Smile

Even though there can be negative side effects of over-whitening, you shouldn’t let that stop you from getting a whiter smile, but you should start by talking with your dentist in The Woodlands. Together, you can find the best way to whiten your teeth. Some common whitening treatments include: 

  • Whitening Strips can be a cheaper option but are not custom-fitted which could lead to a higher risk of irritation and sensitivity. 
  • Whitening Trays tend to be a bit more expensive than strips but come with similar concerns of irritation and sensitivity. 
  • In-Office Professional Whitening is probably the fastest way to get a whiter smile. Plus, since it’s done at your dentist’s office, you have a trained professional guiding you through the entire treatment.

Once you decide on a treatment, make sure you read and follow any directions of your chosen product. Never leave a whitening product on longer than recommended as this can increase the risk of gum irritation, cause sensitivity, and can damage enamel. Stop use of the whitening treatment if you do have any sensitivity or irritation and talk with your dentist. 

There are many different ways you can get a brighter smile, but you can whiten your teeth too much which can lead to larger problems. We always recommend starting your journey to a whiter smile by scheduling an appointment with your dentist in The Woodlands. If traditional smile whitening treatments aren’t appropriate for you, we can explore additional cosmetic dentistry options that can still transform your smile. 

Shirley E. Cagle, DDS in The Woodlands


With Confidence

Shirley E. Cagle, DDS in The Woodlands


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