You might feel guilty about celebrity smiles and toothpaste ads for consuming coffee, tea, red wine, and other foods that we’ve been told are staining our teeth.
The solution to this discomfort appears to be within reach of supermarket shelves, in the form of cans of whitening strips. But is it safe for our dental health? Does using it make it more susceptible to subsequent stains?
We asked five experts if they believed whitening could be harmful to your teeth.
All five said no. But they do issue an important caveat: Teeth whitening is safe when done by the dentist. And it’s not as cheap as whitening strips at the local supermarket anymore …
Here are their detailed responses.
Alexander Holden, dentist
Bleaching is safe Provided that an appropriate mouthpiece is used to keep the bleaching agent in contact with the teeth and away from the delicate soft tissues of the mouth such as the gums and oral mucosa. Consumer products can contain up to 6% hydrogen peroxide; If these concentrations are lower than what dentists can use, they are still effective enough to cause harm if misused.
Kelly Ann Hennessy, dentist
Teeth whitening is safe if performed (and followed) by a licensed dentist. It is important to have dental stylers used by this professional, who will ensure that the correct concentration of whitening products is used for the correct duration. Some non-professional whitening products are acidic and can dissolve tooth enamel. Whitening is not recommended for people with sensitive teeth or pregnant or breastfeeding women. Bleaching does not whiten the amalgam present.
Madhan Balasubramanian, Researcher
Teeth whitening can be effective, but it is safe to seek advice from him Oral health experts. Their experience can help determine the origin of dental staining that may be related to a patient’s oral health. They can discover sensitive gums and talk to the person about their cosmetic expectations. These various questions can be addressed during the consultation, which will allow for a suitable solution to be found.
Teeth whitening procedures performed by professionals may prove to be more reliable than those sold in supermarkets. They can also prescribe teeth whitening solutions that patients can use at home, that are proven safe and effective. This is not necessarily the case with the whitening strips or gels you can find in supermarkets.
Michael Foley is a public health researcher
Teeth whitening is generally safe for teeth. Most teeth whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide or Carboxide peroxide. Higher concentrations (only available by dentists) are most effective and provide long-lasting whitening. Peroxides can cause tooth sensitivity, irritation, and even chemical burns to the gums, mouth, and throat. But if you are careful, the risks are minimal. A few words of warning: not all teeth are suitable for whitening and fillings, and crowns will not change color. Seek advice from your dentist first.
Several products are advertised as “Teeth whitening” It does not contain peroxides, only abrasives. While they can remove tea, coffee and tobacco stains, they do not whiten teeth. Unfortunately, some of them are very abrasive and even attack tooth enamel. Finally, remember that “Hollywood” whites, TV journalists, and models are not natural tooth colors. Do not overdo it. A smile that shows healthy teeth is the most beautiful smile.
Rebecca Chen, healer
No, this is not dangerous, but an oral and dental hygienist should be consulted. They will first perform a thorough examination to determine the cause of your staining and tell you if in-office whitening is right for you. Professionals can offer you better solutions. For example, if the staining is the result of external staining, usually due to food, then treatments aimed at removing the stains mechanically will be most effective.
Tooth sensitivity is often a side effect of any whitening procedure. If the whitening procedure is performed by an oral health practitioner, the products used often contain remineralizing agents that are intended to straighten the teeth immediately after treatment, in order to minimize these effects.