When someone has teeth that are looking discolored, they may find themselves trying different techniques to get them a few shades whiter. Unfortunately, mistakes can be made that can actually damage your teeth or cause them to not look any different. Before you embark on at-home teeth whitening, be aware of the following mistakes that can happen.

Whitening Unhealthy Teeth

Do you have any teeth with damaged enamel or decay? If so, you can actually damage your teeth by using an at-home teeth whitening product. That is because the chemicals that are used in at-home whitening products could cause you to experience pain when they reach the part of the tooth that is normally protected by enamel.

In addition, some teeth whitening products can actually make any imperfections stand out more. This happens when you've had a root canal performed on a tooth in the past, which can cause the tooth to be darker than those that surround it. Whitening those surrounding teeth will make the dark tooth stand out even more.

Discoloration is not always fixable with whitening products, so be aware that any health-related discoloration will need to be fixed before your teeth can be whitened.

Using Natural Methods

Those looking for a natural method to whiten their teeth may turn to all sorts of crazy ideas, which range from placing a banana peel on your teeth or rubbing charcoal against your enamel. You may find these techniques to be very ineffective or not produce any notable results.

Bleaching methods are not only an approved whitening product, but are very effective when it comes to whitening teeth. It is also recommended that you talk with your dentist before trying any whitening products for your teeth.

Using Cheap Solutions

While those whitening kits are tempting due to their cost, know that the results may not be much different in the end. That is because these home kits use low levels of peroxide in them. You will find that your teeth get one or two shades whiter, but may not get to the shade of white that you are looking for.

Having professional whitening performed will help get your teeth to the shade of white that you desire in a short amount of time

Not Changing Behaviors

Whitening products won't make up for any bad behaviors, such as smoking, which can cause your teeth to become discolored. Whitening isn't a permanent solution, so the teeth can revert back to their original color before you started whitening them.

For details on getting professional whitening, speak with a dentist like those at Scott W. Murphy, D.M.D., P.A.