One excellent way to brighten up your smile is by getting your teeth whitened. Your teeth may discolour from medications, the type of foods you consume (especially dyed foods), smoking, or even trauma to your teeth. Fortunately, there are various cosmetic teeth whitening procedures such as whitening strips, bleaching, and whitening toothpastes that can restore the colour of your teeth. If you are thinking of visiting a dentist for teeth whitening, here are a few things you need to know first about this procedure.

You Need to Have Healthy Teeth

Generally, tooth whitening will hardly work on unhealthy or damaged teeth. Teeth issues such as gum recession, gum disease, crooked teeth, cavities, and exposed roots have to be treated first to prevent the whitening process from causing any further damage. Therefore, before you consider teeth whitening, make sure you have healthy teeth and you maintain healthy practices such as a routine of brushing and flossing properly.

Expect Some Tooth Sensitivity After the Procedure

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common side effects of tooth whitening. This is because some of these tooth whitening procedures affect the enamel. The tooth sensitivity will in most cases vary from person to person and it usually doesn't last that long. Taking pain relievers can help, but if the sensitivity becomes unbearable and continues for a considerable number of days, it would be a good idea to consult your dentist. If you have a tooth sensitivity problem, it is recommended that you manage it through things like desensitising toothpaste prior to your tooth whitening procedure to prevent the problem from becoming severe.

Most dentists will give you tooth desensitisers to minimise the level of discomfort you may experience on your first day of treatment. However, once you are home, remember not to consume extremely cold or hot beverages and drinks to prevent triggering the sensitivity.

You May Also Have to Deal with Gum Irritation

While less common, you may also experience some level of irritation on your gums. This is because the whitening products used on your teeth contain some chemicals that may irritate soft tissues such as your gums. However, this is usually rare because the dentist will wipe the whitening bleach or gel off during the process. But if you experience some irritation after whitening your teeth, you can dab the area with a wet cotton swab. Similar to tooth sensitivity, the irritation shouldn't last.