10 Things No One Ever Tells You About: At-Home Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening 
We all want that million dollar smile, and what makes it even more valuable than having the perfect pearly whites? Although we may want our teeth to look like a million bucks, that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to shell out all that money in order to do so. Teeth whitening comes in various forms as it can be professionally done in a dentist’s office, at home with over-the-counter gels and strips, or even as a DIY with items you probably have in your house this very second. While all this information might sound like old news, below you will find 10 facts about teeth whitening that aren’t spoken about so often.

1. Healthy teeth are key. If you have major stains from not brushing your teeth as often as you’re supposed to, bleach has passed its point of being your life-saver. Not taking care of your teeth will call off all chances of receiving an effective result from any whitening product, and if the whitening material gets into cavities or decay it can actually make matters worse.

2. Pain is common. The main side effects of teeth whitening are increased tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. On the not so common side effect scale is stomach irritation and nausea, often caused from swallowing the gel.

MORE: DIY Teeth Whitening: The Best At-Home Tricks

3. Yet, avoidable. Right before whitening, it’s best to brush your teeth with an oxygenating toothpaste which contains natural polishing agents and aloe vera; this will help strengthen your gums and prevent sensitivity.

4. Instructions were made for a reason. When whitening your teeth yourself it is extremely important to follow the directions you are given. Leaving strips on for longer than the recommended time, or adding more gel will not give you even whiter teeth, but instead expose your gums to to potential chemical burns and irritation.

5. There’s such a thing as over doing it. If you’re continuously bleaching your teeth, they will end up looking chalky instead of shiny. A good rule to follow is to match your teeth to the white of your eyes.

6. One size does not fit all. Since everyone’s smile is different, we all shouldn’t be using the same size tray to whiten our teeth. Custom trays help ensure to keep the bleach where it’s intended, and not on harmful places like your gums.

7. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Having your teeth whitened by a dentist or even buying over-the-counter strips can get expensive, luckily there are some natural remedies that can do the trick for a fraction of the cost. Strawberries may help whiten teeth because they contain malic acid, which is found in some whitening toothpastes. Apples, celery, carrots, and citrus fruits increase saliva production and act as natural stain removers.

MORE: 8 Foods That Have Been Staining Your Teeth

8. It isn’t permanent. No matter where or how you whiten your teeth, it won’t last forever. Most results last from 6 months up to 2 years, but it all depends on how easily your teeth stain, as well as your diet.

9. No coffee or tea for at least two weeks. Before you freak out, there is an exception to this rule: it’s okay as long as you use a straw. Drinking coffee or tea after a teeth whitening can cause staining, so make straws your new best friends before ruining your new look.

10. Drink water. That seems to be the answer to all of our problems in life, doesn’t it? Water is the best for washing away bits of food, sugars, and other junk that build up on your teeth and make them look dull. So, for a quick and easy way to brighten up, drink up!

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