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Two reasons not to attempt DIY tooth whitening

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If you feel self-conscious about your yellow-coloured teeth and want to make them a bit whiter, you might be thinking about using an at-home whitening treatment. However, this is not a good idea. If you want to improve the colour of your teeth, it would be far wiser to have them professionally whitened by a dentist that specialises in cosmetic dentistry. Read on to find out why.

An at-home treatment could permanently damage your teeth

The vast majority of tooth whitening treatments involve applying bleach to the teeth for a certain amount of time. The longer the bleach sits on the surface of the teeth, the lighter the teeth become.

When used by an experienced cosmetic dentist who routinely performs tooth whitening treatments, there is virtually no risk of the bleach damaging a person's teeth.

However, if you attempt an at-home whitening treatment, there is a very high chance that you will make a mistake that will lead to your teeth sustaining permanent damage.

The reason for this is as follows; if your teeth are badly stained or if you simply want extremely white teeth, you may feel tempted to either leave the bleach on your teeth for an extended period of time or to apply it to your teeth more than once a day.

These decisions could wreak havoc on your teeth, as excessive exposure to bleach will destroy their enamel. This part of your tooth cannot be 're-grown'; once it is gone, it is gone forever.

If your enamel is damaged in this manner, two serious problems could arise; firstly, your teeth will be far more susceptible to decay and cavities (as the enamel acts as a barrier which protects the rest of the tooth structure from bacterial plaque).

Secondly, your teeth may end up looking more yellow than ever before, as the yellow-coloured dentin which is found under the enamel will end up becoming visible.

You may struggle to achieve your desired results

If you decide to whiten your teeth at home instead of having a cosmetic dentist carry out this treatment for you, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to achieve the precise level of whiteness that you desire.

The reason for this is as follows; at-home treatments include generic instructions and just one specific solution of bleach, and as such, are not designed specifically for your teeth and their current level of staining.

This means that even if you follow the instructions exactly, your teeth may not turn the way you wanted them to; they may end up far less white than you had hoped or they may end up looking unnaturally white.

Conversely, if you have your teeth whitened at a dental clinic that specialises in cosmetic dentistry, your dentist will take your preferences and the current colour of your teeth into account when choosing both the concentration of bleach and the length of time that they will leave it on your teeth. This approach will be far more likely to yield your desired results.