Whitening your teeth is typically a safe thing to do, but some people are susceptible to experiencing damage from at-home whitening kits. This could be due to something like leaving the whitening agent on for too long, using it too frequently, or because of a previously-unknown defect in the dental enamel that allows it to be damaged more easily. In any case, if you've been told that your teeth have experienced some damage from whitening, there's a solution that will make your teeth look white and protect them from further damage.
How Enamel Gets Damaged
Before getting into the solution, consider how the damage got there in the first place. This kind of damage usually occurs because the whitening solution weakened and dissolved a portion of the dental enamel on the tooth. That's the hardest external layer that keeps you safe from cavities. Since dental whitening kits are designed to dissolve stains in this layer of the teeth, going too far with them can potentially have the same dissolving action on the enamel itself.
Damage to the front of the teeth is particularly common with dental whitening. Many whitening formulas are designed to be painted onto the teeth like nail polish and don't impact the back of the teeth much.
Risk With Enamel Damage
The problem with having your dental enamel damaged is two-fold, especially if you're interested in having a nice-looking smile.
The cosmetic side of the equation is that when the enamel layer becomes thinner, it typically allows 'stains' to shine through from underneath. This is actually just the natural color of the other surfaces of your tooth, but it can make your teeth look bad.
On the health side, weakened dental enamel puts you at a higher risk of cavities.
How Veneers Help
Dental veneers are thin, molded pieces of porcelain that are shaped like a concave tooth. Think of it as just the front of your teeth, with the sides and back removed. This veneer can be applied to the teeth with dental cement, fusing the two together. Once in place, the veneer obscures the tooth, so all anyone sees when you flash a smile is the bright, perfectly-shaped, and sized dental veneers.
However, they help with the health issue, too. Since they completely cover the front of the tooth and are intended to be permanent, they prevent bacteria and plaque from damaging the front of the tooth. This helps to mitigate the increased cavity risk.
Porcelain veneers are a great choice if you've had previous damage from at-home whitening kits. Talk to a cosmetic dentist if you're ready to get started.