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A bright smile is how you greet the world, but there is a lot of misinformation out there about teeth whitening. How do you know what’s true, and what’s merely myth? Knowing some important facts about teeth whitening can help you decide how to whiten your own teeth and achieve a sparkling smile.

Damage and Sensitivity

Though sensitivity after whitening is normal, teeth whitening does not damage your teeth in any significant way. If used as instructed, teeth whitening regimens are extremely safe, and your teeth naturally re-mineralize and re-hydrate after each session. The sensitivity is caused by the teeth becoming temporarily dehydrated, but should disappear within a day or two. A cosmetic dentist in Houston, TX, can show you the best ways to combat the sensitivity in the meantime.

Not Quite a Quick Fix

Your teeth are like sponges, and the stains they soak up won’t go away overnight. Several kinds of food and drinks like dark berries, wine, and coffee can be absorbed by the pores in your teeth and stain them over time. Smoking or using chewing tobacco can also cause significant staining. These stains won’t disappear unless you actively remove them, and even then, it takes regular whitening to make a noticeable difference. Successful whitening can take anywhere from a few days to several months. The good news is, once the stains are gone, your new bright smile should be easy to maintain.
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When to Whiten

The best time to whiten your teeth is just before bed, because teeth are especially susceptible to staining immediately after whitening. Whitening right before bed gives your teeth time to rehydrate before you ingest any dark foods or drinks. Keep in mind that caps and veneers unfortunately can’t be whitened because they are specifically made to match the surrounding teeth. The good news is that they don’t stain, either, so they should be safe from your morning coffee.

Long-Term Success

Some teeth whitening systems won’t last for the long haul. UV light therapy whitens very quickly, making it a good choice for those with an important event coming up, but it’s temporary and needs to be regularly maintained. This process can be quite expensive and time consuming. It’s also not a great choice for people with sensitive teeth, since it can increase sensitivity over time. LED light whitening systems sold on television or online are generally ineffective, and most dentists advise against utilizing them.

At Made Ya Smile, an office of cosmetic dentistry in Houston, TX, there are plenty of professionals who can help you decide on the best teeth whitening regimen for you. Whether you use a whitening toothpaste, a custom-fitted whitening tray, or laser and UV therapy, being well-informed makes you better prepared to make the best choice for you.