Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

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Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

Making decisions about your smile can be confusing. Should you have a tooth pulled or get a root canal? Should you get adult braces or stick with a retainer? Should you use at-home whitening remedies or have your teeth professionally whitened? If questions like these are keeping you up at night, you've come to the right place. I used to stress out over routine dental procedures, and as a result, I did loads of research on everything dental-related. To help others, I'm using this blog as a place to collect, review and share what I've learned through the years. I hope you can use the information here to help you plan and prepare for your next dental appointment.

Mistakes to Avoid in the Pursuit of Whiter Teeth

Teeth whitening is one of the most commonly requested treatments in dentistry. However, some people try to avoid paying dental fees for professional treatment and instead opt to cut costs using over-the-counter and homemade remedies. Although some of these methods may work, they are not as safe and effective as getting professional teeth whitening treatment from your dentist. If you're not careful, you could end up permanently damaging your teeth, which would make them even more prone to staining. This is why it is always best to seek professional teeth whitening rather than try to do this on your own. Nevertheless, if you opt to undertake at-home teeth whitening procedures, here are some of the mistakes that you should avoid.

Do not use over-the-counter whitening strips excessively

Teeth whitening strips are a cost-effective way of reducing staining on your teeth. A misconception that some people have is that overusing over-the-counter whitening strips will shorten the amount of time it will take to make their teeth whiter. However, excessive use of these strips will cause more harm than good.

By not using the whitening strips as instructed, you run the risk of making your teeth extra sensitive. This can seriously impede on your intake of cold and hot foods and may even require an additional dental appointment to remedy tooth sensitivity. If you opt to use teeth whitening strips, always ensure that you do so in accordance with the directions provided.

Do not use baking soda regularly on your teeth

One popular home remedy for teeth whitening is brushing teeth with baking soda. However, this also poses serious risks of damaging your teeth. Baking soda is an abrasive. As such, it works by abrading the surface of your enamel. Using this to brush your teeth will therefore give you an impression of whiter teeth as the baking soda will have scrubbed off the extrinsic stains on your teeth. However, the stains are being eliminated together with your enamel.

Regular use of baking soda will eventually abrade considerable amounts of tooth enamel hence leading to tooth sensitivity. Additionally, the lack of enamel also makes it easier for your teeth to acquire intrinsic teeth stains, which are much harder to eliminate. If you have extensive teeth staining, you would be better off having professional teeth whitening done rather than causing damage to your enamel, which could lead to the structural integrity of your tooth becoming compromised.