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Teeth Whitening: How White is Too White?

With teeth whitening, it's easy to go a bit too far on your quest to achieve a bright, sparkling white smile! Our Windsor dentists share some advice on how to whiten your teeth without overdoing it. 

Teeth whitening can be a great way to change the appearance of your teeth. It's relatively easy, quick and non-invasive, with the occasional touch-up required at home or your dentist's office. 

That said, it can also be overdone, causing your teeth to look artificially white and unnatural. 

Many patients just aren't sure when they should stop whitening. They know they want their teeth to look whiter, but have a difficult time identifying the right shade of white to aim for. 

How can I tell when to stop?

Our Windsor dentists can help our patients decide how white they should go. We recommend that they stick to the shade they initially chose at the outset of treatment. Your dentist has a shade chart at their office that will help to guide your whitening treatment process. 

If you're trying to decide if your finished whitening or not and are at home, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that your teeth should be no whiter than the whites of your eyes. This is a good shade to aim for, since you can be sure it will look natural on you. 

Another general rule of thumb is to use your complexion and skin tone. Is your skin on the lighter side? You can go with a whiter shade for your teeth, since your teeth will blend in a bit more with the rest of your face without looking out of place or garish. 

On the other hand, if you have a darker complexion then we would recommend avoiding the very white end of the spectrum. This is because when you have your teeth whitened, the goal is for the end result to look natural - like they haven't been whitened. If your teeth end up looking unnaturally white, then you will draw too much of the wrong type of attention. 

Side Effects of Teeth Whitening

While there are minimal side effects associated with the teeth whitening process, too much of anything can often have unpleasant results. The same is true for teeth whitening. Here are some side effects associated with the teeth whitening process that can be more prominent with over whitening.

  • Teeth Sensitivity - Teeth sensitivity is one of the most commonly reported side effects of teeth whitening. This can occur if the patient has weakened enamel or if the whitening is not properly administered. In-office whitening is the best way to minimize the risk of sensitivity during and after treatment as the dental professional can apply the bleaching agent in the safest way possible. Dentists often recommend certain treatments before whitening to reduce the risk of sensitivity. For example, dentists may recommend a patient with dental cavities receive dental fillings before the whitening procedure. 
  • Gum Irritation - Gum irritation can occur if the gums are not properly isolated or if the take-home or store-bought kit is not properly applied. Most patients do not experience any issues with gum irritation, particularly when it is performed in the office and administered by a dental professional. 

If you’re interested in whitening your teeth or need help deciding how white you should go, book an appointment with one of our Windsor dentists today!

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