Having a whiter, brighter smile is one of the most common cosmetic improvements people want to make. But there is such a thing as over-whitening your teeth. Doing so will not only look unnatural to other people you meet and greet in Carlsbad, but can also be damaging.

What is your ideal shade?

Like most aesthetic dental procedures, smile whitening is best done in moderation and under the supervision of a Carlsbad dentist. Your dentist can not only suggest the best whitening treatment for you, but they can also help find your ideal shade. Even though the choice of how white to go is ultimately up to you, a good rule of thumb to follow is to make sure your teeth aren’t any whiter than the whites of your eyes for the most natural appearance.

What can happen if you whiten too much?

Because whitening affects the enamel of your teeth, doing it in excess can erode the protective layer of your teeth and lead to some undesirable consequences.

Increased sensitivity

One of the most common side effects of smile whitening is tooth sensitivity. Typically, this sensitivity is temporary. However, when teeth are exposed to too many whitening treatments, sensitivity can become severe and persist for a long time. 

Darker/translucent teeth

Over-whitening that erodes your enamel can cause teeth to appear translucent and, as a result, darker than they did before whitening. 

Irritated gums

Bleaching your teeth can also lead to gum irritation if the bleach is in contact with the gums for an extended time. A custom fit whitening tray can help prevent the bleaching material from contacting the soft tissue of the gums. 


Your enamel protects your teeth from damaging bacteria and acids. When the enamel is compromised by excessive whitening, your risk of tooth decay and cavities is increased. 

Whitening is safe, if done correctly

If you opt to whiten your teeth at home with an over-the-counter product, follow all directions carefully to avoid the complications detailed above.

Your better option is to schedule a professional whitening treatment with your Carlsbad dentist, Dr. Addy. Smile whitening treatments aren’t the best choice for everyone, and your Dr. Addy can determine whether or not a whitening treatment will be effective for you. 

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