Are you obsessed with having sparkling white teeth? Whitening your teeth can transform your appearance and knock years off your age but if it goes wrong, you could end up damaging your teeth and your smile could look worse than ever. So make sure you don’t make these common teeth whitening mistakes.

Most common teeth whitening mistakes

Whitening damaged teeth – you should always consult your dentist before you have any kind of teeth whitening treatment. A qualified dentist can check for any decay or cavities which bleaching products can seep into, causing damage and extreme pain.

Using cheap whitening kits – professional teeth whitening can be expensive, but you get what you pay for. The internet is full of super-cheap whitening kits and they could contain damaging combinations of chemicals, including chlorine dioxide which is used for cleaning pools. This will damage your enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to staining and could burn your gums.

Trying natural whiteners – if you’re put off by the idea of chemicals, it can be tempting to try natural whitening products which may not work at all and could actually damage your teeth. Over the years people have used salt, charcoal and chalk to try and whiten their teeth but this can be more abrasive than anything else.

Using a whitening tray that doesn’t fit – most DIY teeth whitening kits come with one-size trays which you warm and form over your teeth. This is very sloppy and allows saliva to wash away the active ingredient before it has time to work. Everyone’s mouth is different.  Invest in a proper, custom-fit tray for the best results.

Eating and drinking straight after whitening – your teeth may be sensitive and more vulnerable to staining immediately after they’ve been whitened. Salivary glands in your mouth help produce a natural biofilm barrier that covers ones teeth and gums.  This barrier is broken down for a short period of time with exposure to tooth whitening products. It is best to refrain from eating and drinking dark foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, berries, sauces and red wine for at least one hour after whitening.

Trying to whiten veneers, fillings and crowns – teeth whitening products won’t work on fillings, crowns and veneers, so they will stubbornly stay the same color while your natural teeth whiten.  Be aware of this and don’t go too white on your natural teeth to avoid a startling contrast. 

Using cheap whitening strips – this can burn your gums and increase tooth sensitivity.  They do not cover all of your teeth and will allow for more contrast.  They also tend to not do a very good job of whitening between teeth as compared to a professionally made tooth whitening tray.

Not cleaning before whitening – it sounds obvious, but if you forget to clean your teeth before whitening, then food debris, plaque and bacteria can ruin the whole process. Always give your teeth a good brush and floss before using whitening products.  So, now that you know what the most common teeth whitening pitfalls are, be sure to avoid them in order to maintain your sparkly-white smile.

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About Life-Like: Life-Like Cosmetic Solutions provides dental products for teeth whitening. Cosmetic dentists use Life-Like’s professional whitening kits in their practice and offer teeth bleaching kits for at-home use. Visit the website at to learn how to participate in the “Marketing for Dentists” program at no cost. “Like” the Facebook page to receive regular tips on teeth whitener products. Call 800-543-3545 for more information about increasing practice revenue through professional dental whitening.