Everyone wants a bright white smile, but not everyone can afford the maintenance behind it.
The latest Do-It-Yourself trend is teeth whitening or bleaching. Over-the-counter teeth whitening products can often improve the shade of your teeth; the disadvantages of over-the-counter kits far outweigh the benefits. For more effective and safer results, it’s recommended that you have your dentist perform in-office teeth-whitening.
Here are some potential risks and side effects of over-the-counter teeth whiteners that you should be aware of:
Harmful to the Gum Line - Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits contain peroxides. The peroxide can cause serious damage to your gum line. DIY whitening strips or gel trays can often be too big or small. Either scenario can lead to unnecessary contact with your gum line.
In a dentist’s office, whitening trays are custom made for each mouth. With a lesser risk of gum contact, a higher concentration of peroxides in stronger gels can be used that ultimately yield better, whiter results.
Aggravated Dental Problems- Do-it-yourself teeth whitening kits can make pre-existing dental problems worse. The bleach can get into any abscess of the mouth and cause immediate pain – or worse, an infection.
It is important to make an appointment with your dentist before considering DIY teeth-whitening. They can check for any cavities or gum disease that could be aggravated by the bleach. If you have a severe cavity, the bleach can travel as far as the root and may lead to root-canal therapy.
In gums with pre-existing gum disease, the bleach from kits will burn the inflamed gums and can cause the loss of soft tissue. This can lead to serious illness as the bacteria from the gums can find its way to other parts of the body.
Poor Results- Over-the-Counter teeth whitening can lead to spotted or ineffective results. Most DIY treatments contain bleach concentrations between 10%-20% – somewhere in between is the safest bet for a bleaching agent. Most teeth whitening kits don’t list the concentration so customer cannot choose a strength that’s sensitive to their oral health.
Damage to Tooth Enamel - Enamel is the protective layer around our teeth. It is the hardest tissue in our body, but can be stained by things like caffeine, tobacco and food. This is why people opt to whiten their teeth.
DIY teeth whitening kits are known to contain sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide – two chemicals that, if not applied properly, can cause erosion of the tooth enamel. If the enamel wears away, the layer of yellow dentin underneath becomes exposed and extreme pain becomes inevitable.
If are interested in teeth whitening, we suggest in-office whitening. Contact Today’s Dental for an appointment.