Why Teeth Whitening Is Best Left to Professionals

Have your pearly whites lost their luster? Tea, coffee, wine, food, and tobacco products are just a few things that can cause staining or yellowing of your teeth. Avoiding these substances can help further discoloration, but who wants to give up their favorite food and drinks?

Thankfully there are many solutions to returning your teeth to their white, shiny state. When it comes to brightening teeth, the options soon can feel quite overwhelming. Perhaps you’ve tried the natural remedies such as brushing with that special item in your kitchen pantry, or perhaps you’ve grabbed the over-the-counter miracle strips days before your daughter’s wedding. Even today’s supermarkets offer so many whitening products that it can make your head spin!

So, where do you start, and how do you know the best option for you?


Many whitening products make big claims for your teeth, yet they fail to deliver. Whitening kinds of toothpaste often fall into this category. Whitening toothpaste is made to be abrasive, and it is the abrasiveness that helps remove extrinsic stains on the surface of your teeth. This can be a problem, though, because if they are abrasive enough to do anything, they may be dangerously wearing away the enamel layer of your teeth.

If they aren’t very abrasive, they won’t whiten your teeth, which is also a problem. These products can be a big waste of money in the long run.

Whitening strips purchased at the store may make some difference for you. Although, the bleaching agent used in these strips is much weaker than that which can be purchased through your dentist. As a result, the strips won’t be near as effective at getting you to your whitest shade. Thus the results produced won’t be comparable to what can be achieved by your dentist.

You Can Hurt Yourself

There is a reason why there are regulations on what can be sold over the counter when whitening. Whitening products have the potential of hurting your teeth and gums. If not applied carefully or adequately, the bleaching agent can cause burning of your gum tissue and sensitivity among your teeth. It’s always best to get help from professionals when whitening your teeth.

Whitening Gets Expensive

While it can be tempting to go with the cheapest route for whitening, it’s essential to look at the longevity and effectiveness of the purchased product. If a product needs to be repeated many times to get results, it soon can get much more expensive than initially planned. While in-office dental whitening tends to be more of an investment up front, it has been proven to bring about the best results with minimal side effects.

Understanding What Is Causing Your Stain

Your dentist can evaluate your teeth and medical history and determine what is causing your staining. This is an important step of the whitening process because there are certain situations in which teeth staining can not be fixed in certain manners.

  • Fluorosis – This is when teeth have streaks on them due to receiving too much fluoride as a child. Fluorosis is a condition that has affected the structure of the teeth and cannot be reversed through whitening.
  • Medication Staining – Some medications, such as Tetracycline, can cause staining within the teeth. Since this is an intrinsic stain it can not be removed with whitening products such as toothpastes.
  • Composites / Crowns – No whitening products will be able to whiten dental restorations. Whitening products can only change natural tooth structure and your dentist will be able to tell you if you are a good candidate for whitening.

Many things in life are best left to the experts and we at Riverside Dental Care believe that your teeth are one of them. Your teeth are something that are intended to stick with you for life and while there are many products on the market these days, they aren’t all good for your teeth.

Are you interested in brightening up your smile? Our dentists are here to evaluate your unique situation and let you know what the best options are for whitening your smile and properly caring for your teeth.

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