Oral & Vision Health Blog

What to do When Your Teeth Whitening Goes Wrong

Whether you have a special event in person or over video chat, you've done everything you can to get ready to look and feel your best. You've included some extra workout time, maybe cut down on a few treats, shopped for that perfect outfit, and oh yeah -- whitened your teeth for that extra pizzazz

Everything was going perfectly, but then – BAM! What happened? Your teeth whitening didn't go as planned! Now you are left with blotchy, sensitive, sore teeth and red gums. What do you do?

Now first of all, don’t worry! You’re not the first person who has ever encountered this problem, but we want to make sure it doesn't happen again. So, here is what happens when teeth whitening goes wrong and what you can do to avoid the problems with over-the-counter teeth whitening products:

  • Pay attention to the directions and don't use the product longer then the stated time.  Using it for longer is not better and can cause uneven bleaching. Wearing whitening strips and trays are not going to brighten your enamel any faster – in fact, it may even leave the edges of your teeth blueish!
  • Be sure to follow all the directions of the teeth whitening product you are using carefully. Remember, this is bleach you are putting in your mouth and the focus is your teeth – not your gums.  It is important to be sure the gel doesn't leak out causing painful burns and redness. 
  • Be sure the product you buy is Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved. There are many teeth whitening products on the market, but not all have been safety tested. You may not only be wasting your money, but you could be damaging your teeth. 
  • In order for a product to work for you, you must follow the instructions. Take the time to prepare your mouth for the teeth whitening process. Be sure your teeth are clean and ready for the make-over. If it requires multiple applications throughout the day or week, remain consistent. That’s the best way for you to achieve your desired results! 

The good news is that even if your whitening routine didn't go as planned, any uneven whitening and sensitive gum issues should remedy themselves over the next month or so. Perhaps pay a visit to your dentist so they can share what steps you should take next to fix your teeth whitening crisis. 

In the meantime, when you buy your next teeth-whitening toothpaste, be sure it has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. ADA-approved toothpaste contains safe, tooth whitening agents that won't damage the enamel. See our guide to see what toothpaste is right for you!

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