If the color of your teeth has turned yellow and your smile appears dull, you may have decided to try whitening them yourself using a tray system that you purchased in a department store or pharmacy. However, before you start using the tray system, make sure you avoid the following mistakes that could leave your teeth and gums worse for wear.
1. Filling the Trays up Too Much
As you read over the instructions that came with your whitening trays, it most likely recommends a certain level to which you fill them with the gel or paste. However, because you may feel that more whitening solution will result in whiter teeth, you may decide to fill them to the brim before placing them over your teeth.
However, you should remember that the solution was designed strictly for the teeth and that it does contain bleaching chemicals. While these chemicals may not immediately affect the teeth or irritate them, the solution will irritate your gums if it comes into contact with them.
When you overfill the trays, the gel or paste oozes out over the top of them and comes into contact with your gums. Your gums will become irritated and inflamed. The more often you use the trays in this manner, the more the surface of your gums will become irritated and eroded. This erosion can lead to gum disease because the tissue will be exposed to bacteria.
2. Using the Trays Too Often or Too Long
After learning that you should use the recommended level of whitening solution, you may decide that you can still speed things up by leaving the trays on your teeth longer than the instructions state or decide to use them more often. However, this is a bad idea that could result in permanent damage to your tooth enamel.
Just like your gums, your teeth will eventually erode from having too much contact with the whitener. While it may take longer than with your gums, the enamel will wear down. At first, you may experience increased tooth sensitivity. However, as the enamel wears away, your teeth are opened up to the risk of cavity formation and decay.
Even if you avoid the above mistakes while using a tray system to whiten your teeth at home, you may still not be able to prevent enamel and gum damage and you may still not get the results you want. To keep these things from happening, consider having your teeth professionally whitened by a cosmetic dentist instead.