When it comes to dental whitening techniques and bleaching methods, there are several options to consider. From toothpaste with whitening ingredients to bleaching chewing gum, the diversity of products available may overwhelm some people’s ability to carefully decide on the best option and thus lead to improper use of some products. What is worse, it may lead to the use of bleaching products whose formula isn’t effective, or that are dangerous for normal dental health. I will try to highlight some dos and don’ts of tooth whitening, in order to help anyone considering tooth whitening to achieve optimal whitening results without compromising their dental health.

The first bit of advice is rather obvious: no matter what miraculous product you have seen on TV, you must consult dental care professional before you start using any products. Your dentist will be able to guide you through the sometimes difficult process of choosing the tooth bleaching method that best suits your needs based on your mouth’s health, how much whitening you need and how quickly you want results. Then, he will recommend what tooth whitening tray you should use, and also tell you what product is best for you. A dental health expert will design a customized dental tray that fits your own mouth and tooth size.

A professional will also be able to suggest what to do with any artificial dental work you may have (bonding, caps, fillings, bridges, etc.), as bleaching will whiten natural dental pieces only. If necessary, he will be able to replace any non-natural piece with a whiter one, just to ensure all your teeth will be the same color once the whitening treatment has succeeded.

Stay away from generic trays. These non-customized whitening trays will not fit your mouth perfectly and may have several undesirable complications. For example, a tray that does not fit your teeth may allow the bleaching gel to be swallowed, and they also may cause injuries to your mouth’s soft tissues. Besides, these trays often come with bleaching products that are ineffective, acidic or even toxic.

Once you have your own customized tooth whitening tray and bleaching product, you must take a little time to prepare your teeth for the whitening treatment.

Always brush and floss your teeth prior to applying the whitening tray. There is a good reason for this: the bleaching gel works better and faster on clean teeth. So, you will end up using less gel.

Try to use your tooth whitening tray while sleeping. This way the whitening product will remain in contact with your teeth’s surface long enough to reach maximum bleaching effectiveness. Besides, if you don’t have to use it through the day you will experience less trouble on your normal daytime activities, mainly because it may be difficult to speak while having a tray inside your mouth, even when they are pretty thin.

Visit your dentist on a regular basis to allow him to closely follow the evolution of the whitening treatment, and also to let him fix any problems that may appear. Remember, your teeth will resist treatment, but your gums may not. Let your dentist assess any possible damage to the soft tissue and give you instructions on how to avoid it. Also, keep in mind that tooth whitening is basically a chemical treatment, so avoid any kind of accidental swallowing of the bleaching product. More important yet, do not whiten your teeth if you are a pregnant or lactating woman, or if you are under 13 years old.

Just follow this easy guide and you just might end up enjoying snow-white teeth in no time without hurting your health.