white  teethDespite the surge in the popularity of cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening procedures still lead the entire arsenal of procedures meant to give you a more captivating smile. And with the abundance of teeth whitening products out there on pharmacy and grocery store shelves, it’s no wonder why it’s so easy for consumers to reach for any of those products and then whiten their smiles in just a couple of minutes or so.

But even if these teeth whitening products are now being sold over-the-counter style, they still contain harmful components which could end up endangering your pearly whites rather than beautifying them. To ensure that you do the latter and not the former, follow these steps:

Wait for your dentist’s go signal.

Before you attempt to place anything with known abrasive and corrosive properties on the surface of your teeth, you need to ask for expert advice and who better to turn to then Brad Pitts Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Lexington, SC? If there are any cavities or if you are prone to tooth sensitivity, then it’s very likely Dr. Pitts will have to foil your plans for the time being. This is because teeth whitening products contain high levels of irritating chemicals which, if your teeth are not tough and resistant enough, could gain entrance into the pulp region and cause nerve damage.

Shop for products with the appropriate concentration of active ingredient.

The active ingredient of most teeth whitening products is peroxide which is able to get into the enamel region and erase any kind of stains. But if these products are all formulated the same, why are there certain products which require you to apply the gel an entire evening to see results while others can give you an instant bright smile in under 10 minutes? This has something to do with the concentration of the peroxide. Most concentrations range from 10 to 20 percent but dentists are saying that patients should strike a balance between the two, of course depending on your ability to tolerate the same concentration.

Follow the instructions up until the very last minute.

Over exposure of your enamel to the active ingredient could cause potentially devastating effects from teeth sensitivity to the complete wearing out of your enamel. So make sure that you follow the timing instructions strictly. Remember, the faster it is for a product to come up with results, the higher the concentration of the peroxide. So make sure that if it says 5 minutes on the box, the strip or gel stays on for not a second more.

If you have any questions about whitening products, discuss the different options with Brad Pitts Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Lexington, SC.

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photo credit: Brandon Heyer via photopin cc

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