Posted February 25, 2015
Look in the mirror and smile. Are your teeth pearly white, or are they a little yellow or gray? Americans place high importance on their smiles. A survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry revealed that Americans believe:
- A smile is an important social asset.
- An unattractive smile can negatively affect a person’s job success.
- The whiteness of teeth is the one thing people would like to change to improve their smile.
Americans spend over $1.7 billion annually on over-the-counter products and dental office procedures. If choosing to whiten your teeth at home, follow these directions to avoid common mistakes.
- Consult your dentist first – Before whitening your teeth, discuss the idea with your dentist. If you’ve had extensive dental work, it may not be possible to whiten the color of your teeth. Make sure fillings or enamel cracks and chips have been repaired before using whitening products.
- Use only FDA-approved products – Teeth whitening products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may contain chemicals and fillers that can damage teeth.
- Follow product directions – Make sure to follow length and frequency directions when wearing whitening strips or trays. When using trays, don’t overfill them. The chemicals may irritate the nerves in the teeth and burn the gums. If you do apply too much gel and it seeps out, wipe it off of your gums.
- Clean teeth before whitening – Brush and floss teeth to remove plaque and food particles before using over-the-counter whitening products. Otherwise, the chemicals may not work properly.
- Avoid food and drink while whitening – Drinking a beverage or eating food while whitening teeth may dilute or alter the effectiveness.
Follow these recommendations to take care of your teeth and keep them as white as possible.