Whitening your teeth at home is a good option for many people, but it's a bad one for a lot of them, too. Depending on the condition of your teeth, you could find that whitening your teeth at home is uncomfortable or downright painful. If this sounds like you, read on to discover what's behind this and what you can do to get the same results without the pain.
What Whitening Does
Tooth whitening — the at-home variety — focuses on removing stains from the outward layer of the tooth, the enamel. Using peroxide and other whitening agents, these at-home whitening products are designed to help lift stains and leave behind the white, shiny enamel. But what happens when your enamel is in poor condition?
When Your Tooth Enamel Is Bad
Tooth enamel doesn't stay healthy and intact in all people. Unfortunately, it can be damaged, either by teeth grinding, poor diet, poor dental hygiene, or even genetic factors.
When you lose some or all of the external layer of your tooth enamel or if it's badly damaged, pain often follows close behind. This is because, without the enamel, the deeper layers of the teeth that contain the nerves that detect pain are closer to the surface.
The dentin and pulp of your tooth were never intended to come into contact with anything, let alone peroxide. Think of it as like using peroxide on an open wound — the pain comes not from killing bacteria but from the damage the peroxide can do to healthy cells. If your dental enamel isn't intact, the same kind of damage may be happening to your teeth.
Choosing the Alternative
The good news is that if your enamel is damaged and your teeth don't look white enough, there's a solution that can protect your teeth while giving your teeth an excellent white color. The solution here is dental veneers.
Dental veneers are a cosmetic application that's put over real teeth. It's a thin layer of porcelain that only covers the front of the tooth. Cementing the dental veneer to your teeth lets it act like a second layer of enamel, making up for the first one that you lost. In addition, veneers can be selected in all shapes, sizes, and colors, ensuring that you'll get the exact appearance that you're looking for.
Dental veneers are a great choice for anyone that's been experiencing discomfort or pain from tooth whitening. Talk to a cosmetic dentist and find out how veneers can help you.