2 Mistakes To Avoid While Trying To Whiten Your Teeth On Your Own

After years of drinking staining beverages, such as coffee and wine, or using tobacco products, your teeth may appear dull and yellowish brown. Because of the discoloration, you may decide to try various whitening methods to brighten up your smile. However, before you start trying teeth whitening method at home, make sure you avoid making the mistakes discussed below.

1.  Using At-Home Whitening Products Too Often

If you want quick results, you may decide to purchase a whitening kit plus whitening toothpaste with the intention of using the kit a couple of times per week and the toothpaste every day. After all, if one application or brushing helps whiten your teeth just a little, then using some type of product should have your teeth gleaming within a week, right?

While you may believe that more is better, you may wind up causing permanent damage to your teeth's enamel. Whether the main ingredient in your whitening kit or toothpaste is a form of peroxide or baking soda, it is only meant to be used on your teeth as directed by the instructions.

If you try using any of these products more often than recommended, you will end up with either thinner enamel or micro-scratches on your teeth. With either type of damage, you run the risk of eroding the enamel and creating cavities that could quickly lead to tooth decay.

If you must use store-bought products, make sure you follow the directions as closely as possible, especially when it comes to the frequency and duration of the applications. And if you use whitening toothpaste, do not use it multiple times a day, as even the small amount of abrasive in the paste could harm your teeth if used too often.

2.  Attempting to Whiten Your Teeth with So-Called "Safe and Natural" Methods

After learning about the dangers of using store-bought whiteners too frequently, you may decide to turn to the internet to discover safer, natural ways of achieving a white smile. After all, if the ingredients are natural, they should not cause any damage to your teeth, right?

Just because a whitening method comes from natural ingredients does not mean that it is necessarily safe. There may still be side effects from using these methods too often or even using them at all.

One such natural whitening trend is brushing your teeth with powdered activated charcoal, which is supposed to pull the toxins away from the enamel and leave your teeth whiter. However, there are a few dangers involved with this type of "safe and natural" tooth whitener, including erosion of your enamel. 

Another natural method of whitening your teeth that is often touted by internet gurus as safe and effective is brushing lemon juice on your teeth, leaving it on, and then brushing the juice into the enamel to bleach away the stains. However, if done incorrectly, this method could result in tooth erosion, as well as burning your gum tissue.

Since lemon juice contains highly concentrated amounts of citric acid, leaving the juice on your teeth can eat away at your enamel and irritate your gums. While it may be effective for the short term as a whitener, you should probably look elsewhere if you want to keep from permanently damaging your teeth and gums.

While you may want a brighter smile, attempting to achieve your goal of whiter teeth at home and on your own does come with some risks. Instead of going it alone and possibly damaging your teeth, consider contacting a dentist who provides teeth whitening services, such as Kyle J Frisinger DMD, instead so you can have professional treatments that come with a lower risk of adverse effects while giving you a higher chance of successfully whitening your smile.