I was just about to have a long-desired teeth whitening appointment when the COVID-19 quarantine went into effect. My dentist’s office called to say they’d have to reschedule my appointment because teeth whitening isn’t considered essential. While I understand, it is quite disappointing. Is there a way to do some DIY teeth whitening I can do, such as swishing some Clorox bleach around in my mouth in the meantime?
A delayed desire can make us feel a bit heartsick, especially when our dream was just about to come to fruition. The good news is this is temporary! That’s what I tell myself every day of this quarantine. As for your DIY plan, I’m going to discourage you from it for a few reasons.
First, bleach isn’t the ingredient we use for teeth whitening, though I can see why people would think it a good option, after all it does whiten our clothes. However, bleach is a base, such as Lye, and is very corrosive. It will eat away at the enamel of your teeth.
Plus, you do know the bottle says not to use the bleach for anything other its intended use. You won’t want the bleaching police coming to get you.
All joking aside, the ingredient we use is a type of peroxide. I’m guessing your second thought will be, “Well can I use that?” The problem is it won’t really work. We use something different than you get over-the-counter. Plus, it would have to stay on your teeth for a minimum of 15-20 minutes to have any effect whatsoever. This is the reason we make custom-fitted trays for your teeth. This allows the gel to really soak into your teeth.
The DIY You Can Do
If you are really eager to at least get started, Crest Whitestrips are what I’d recommend. Even though they aren’t as strong as professional teeth whitening and will only cover a few teeth, they will slowly whiten your teeth. It will give you, if not a jumpstart on your teeth whitening, at least a bunny hop.
With any over-the-counter product, you don’t have the care of a dentist to keep an eye on things like your gums or to check for any vulnerable fillings. If you start feeling any pain or discomfort, take a break from the strips.
Another thing to be aware of is the danger of those whitening kinds of toothpaste they sell at the stores. These use abrasives to remove stains. They will make your teeth look a little better in the short-term, but will actually cause your teeth to pick up more stains.
There is one exception. Supersmile Toothpaste, which has to be ordered online, actually safely whitens teeth. It is also safe for teeth with cosmetic work.
Those are a couple of things you can do. Before you know it, this whole quarantine will be over and you can see the dentist and get your teeth sparkling white.
This blog is brought to you by San Antonio Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Imam.