Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Clean, white teeth constitute an important factor in your ability to smile freely. Tooth whitening is a measure that you may be considering to achieve your desired look. But, is teeth whitening safe?
It is not uncommon for persons with discolored teeth to try to conceal teeth when laughing or smiling. Tooth whitening is a safe solution such individuals can turn to.
The team at Icard & Strein Family Dentistry in Harrisburg, NC, explain the procedure, including whether any fear regarding it is truly warranted.
What is Tooth Whitening?
Tooth whitening refers to a procedure involving the use of certain ingredients to make the teeth appear whiter. The most common of these ingredients are carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. The procedure is also known as tooth bleaching.
There are several options you can choose from when it comes to making your teeth look whiter and brighter. They include whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, strips, bleaching gels, and laser. The most appropriate one to use of these depends on the particular state of your teeth.
You can whiten teeth at home or have professional teeth whitening, depending on the severity. Ingredients used in the latter settings tend to be of greater strength.
Tooth whitening methods have evolved over the years. Much has been done by professionals to reduce the possible side effects of the procedure. But you may still experience issues, especially if you fail to exercise due diligence.
Common Tooth Whitening Concerns
Poor whitening methods or practices can impact your teeth in minor ways. Tooth sensitivity is a common effect of tooth bleaching. But it appears to no longer be as common as it used to in the past, thanks to the availability of more improved and proven methods. High-strength bleaching agents make your teeth more sensitive by contributing to enamel erosion.
Also, when using highly concentrated bleach to whiten your teeth, the cleaning agent can touch the gums and result in irritation. This will certainly not be good for people who are already battling with gum issues.
Bleaching can also impact your restorations in a negative way. Dentists will often advise people with certain kinds of dental work, including dental amalgam or colored crowns, against the procedure for this reason. Bleach can make dental amalgam to release mercury in your mouth.
How to Improve Teeth Whitening Safety
Due to the possibility for undesirable effects of tooth whitening, you should consider only having teeth whitening administered by a professional. Such a professional, like Dr. Icard or Dr. Strein, have the right expertise and knowledge best practices. They choose the best techniques based on most recent research findings, thus reducing the potential for side effects. It is usual for an examination to first be carried out to assess if whitening is ideal. Your dentist may treat your teeth with high-strength fluoride days before the procedure to reduce sensitivity.
If, somehow, you can only afford at-home whitening, ensure that you do not do this over a long period of time. This may expose your teeth to sensitivity that becomes unbearable. You should immediately halt bleaching for some days if you notice sensitivity.
Other things you can do to reduce tooth sensitivity include brushing with toothpaste made for people with sensitive teeth. You can also ask your dentist for fluoride product recommendations to help restore lost minerals in your teeth.
Is teeth whitening safe? Yes, it is. Research spanning many years has proven it safe and effective for having whiter, more appealing teeth. There are now clinically proven products and ingredients with which sensitivity is less of an issue. You significantly reduce risks as well when you have a professional perform the procedure.
It is not entirely impossible that you might still experience sensitivity issues even when bleaching is performed by a dentist. The likelihood of such is significantly reduced. Working with a professional also makes it easier to more effectively control possible side effects.