Dental News

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

February 25, 2014

The safest way to dramatically whiten teeth is to contact your dentist for professional whitening

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?Teeth whitening products are safe to use, so long as you follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully. As with just about any product, deliberate or accidental misuse of teeth whitening products can be dangerous. The specific risks associated with using teeth whitening products too frequently or leaving them on too long include:

  • gum irritation
  • tooth sensitivity
  • enamel erosion

What’s the Best Way to Safely Whiten Teeth?

When it comes to improving the color and brightness of your teeth, you have three main options. For best results, you will probably want to use some combination of these three whitening techniques as directed by your dentist.

Whitening Toothpastes

Most whitening toothpastes work by using polishing agents to gently remove surface stains from teeth. Provided you are not brushing too hard, these toothpastes are as safe as any other. Some types of whitening toothpastes also include a chemical agent that helps to lift surface stains. This chemical action is not a bleaching action and as such is safe for daily at-home use. If you have questions about which whitening toothpaste to use, ask your dentist for a recommendation.

At-Home Whitening Treatments

There are tons of at-home whitening products available, of varying degrees of quality and safety. Products that use ill-fitting whitening trays can be irritating to the mouth, and any product can cause tooth sensitivity or even (in rare cases) enamel loss if overused. If you want to use a whitening system at home, your best bet is to purchase an at-home whitening kit from your dentist rather than buying one at the store. That way, you can rest assured you are getting a quality product that your dentist believes is appropriate for your needs.

Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments

Professional teeth whitening treatments are the safest and most effective way to improve the color of your teeth. Because these treatments are performed under the supervision of a dental professional, they can contain stronger bleaching agents that will provide a longer-lasting and more dramatic whitening effect than an at-home product. Professional teeth whitening systems can actually be anywhere from 5 to 14 times as strong as an over the counter product. Plus, your dentist will make sure your gums are fully protected from the bleaching agents and tailor the duration of the treatment to your needs, thereby eliminating the risk of complications associated with overexposure.

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