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Teeth whitening is an 11 billion dollar industry in the US. It is an immensely popular industry worldwide and no longer a luxury reserved for the elite. Studies show most adults believe an attractive smile assists you with career prospects and makes you more attractive to your desired gender, and your teeth are a huge part of your smile.
With all these perks, it seems like an ideal procedure for almost anyone. However, as with any medical, cosmetic and dental procedure there are risks and side effects to be considered, some of which are more alarming for certain individuals.
Before you fork out some hard-earned cash for a teeth-whitening solution, consider these three aspects to the procedure.
Is the treatment right for you?
It’s important to first consider whether or not the treatment would be a benefit to you, and if there are any factors worth considering for your safety.
Bleaching your teeth is known to cause some discomfort for a few days after the procedure, which is worse for people with sensitive teeth. Anything from tooth decay, gum disease, worn-down enamel and teeth grinding in your sleep will cause your teeth to be more sensitive, thus making the procedure and the days following potentially unbearable.
Fillings and restorations
Fillings and composite materials used in dental restorations do not whiten. A whitening procedure will result in uneven colouring, and so must be undertaken at least two weeks before any fillings are inserted. This will ensure the right coloured fillings can be inserted.
Despite being a popular, everyday procedure, tooth whitening is an expensive undertaking. Dental sessions can cost up to $1000 and at home kits, though cheaper, require regular upkeep and thus need to be restored at intervals. Try some DIY remedies if you can’t afford the procedure yet.
At home safety precautions
Teeth whitening kits can be bought over the counter and online. They’re a cheaper solution and ideal for anyone with a real aversion to sitting in the dentist’s chair. Any at home maintenance comes with a few risks, however, the chief one being that there is no professional consultant in the room.
Before you purchase a pack of gel strips or a bleaching kit, consult with your dentist and find out if they think this is the right procedure for you.
Study the ingredients and make sure you’re not allergic to anything.
Follow the instructions to the letter. Don’t take short cuts and don’t leave whitening gel on longer than you’re supposed to—everybody likes a bright smile, but you don’t want to go blinding people when you open your mouth.
Side effects go with almost anything and teeth whitening is no different. Some of its side effects may deter people from undergoing the treatment, so they’re worth knowing about beforehand.
Most patients experience isolated zaps and tingles during a professional teeth whitening session. If this is happening, make sure you communicate with your dentist. The reason they don’t anaesthetise you is because the pain will help you communicate to the dentist how you’re feeling.
Afterwards, hot and cold food and beverages could cause some irritation. This ought to dissipate in a matter of days, but there are certain toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth that can ease the discomfort a bit. If the pain doesn’t let up after 2 – 3 days, consult your dentist.
Teeth whitening is generally considered to be safe and not entirely unpleasant, but careful consideration of the side effects, costs and special circumstances is always advised. Stay in the know now and avoid any major mistakes in the future.