Teeth whitening is a great way to alter the appearance of your teeth. It’s non-invasive, quick, and easy to maintain with the occasional touch-up at home or your dentist’s office.
However, it can also be overdone, resulting in teeth that look artificially white and unnatural.
Many patients simply aren’t sure when they should stop whitening. They want their teeth to look whiter but have a hard time identifying the right shade of white to aim for.
How can I tell when to stop?
To help our patients decide how white they should go, our Winnipeg dentists advise them to stick with the shade they chose at the start of treatment. Your dentist's office will have a shade chart that can help guide you through the whitening treatment process.
If you're at home and wondering if you're done whitening, a good rule of thumb is that your teeth should be no whiter than the whites of your eyes. This is a good colour to aim for because it will look natural on you.
Another general rule is to consider your skin tone and complexion. If your skin tone is lighter, you can choose a whiter shade for your teeth because they will blend in more with the rest of your face without looking out of place or garish.
If you have a darker complexion, we recommend avoiding the very white end of the spectrum. This is because the goal of having your teeth whitened is for the result to look natural – as if they haven't been whitened at all. If you go too far and your teeth appear unnaturally white, you will attract too much of the wrong kind of attention.
Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
While the teeth whitening process has few side effects, too much of anything can often have unfavourable outcomes. The same can be said for teeth whitening. Here are some of the side effects of teeth whitening that can be more noticeable with excessive whitening.
- Teeth Sensitivity - One of the most frequently reported side effects of teeth whitening is sensitivity. This can happen if the patient has weakened enamel or if the whitening is not done properly. Because the dental professional can apply the bleaching agent in the safest way possible, in-office whitening is the best way to reduce the risk of sensitivity during and after treatment. To reduce the risk of sensitivity, dentists frequently recommend certain treatments before whitening. For example, dentists may advise a patient with dental cavities to get dental fillings before undergoing the whitening procedure.
- Gum Irritation - Gum irritation can occur if the gums are not properly isolated or if the at-home or store-bought kit is not applied correctly. Most patients have no issues with gum irritation when it is performed in the office and administered by a dental professional.