Teeth whitening is one of the most popular beauty trends around, and everyone wants to have a shining bright smile.
Companies have responded to this trend by making whitening treatments, whitening toothpaste, gels, mouthwashes, and films that let you brighten your teeth at home. But are they safe? Could these treatments be doing long term damage to your teeth?
Here is what you need to know about the most common at home tooth whitening products.
At Home Whitening Strips
The most common active ingredient in at home teeth whitening products such as whitening strips, is hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent that breaks down internal stains in your tooth enamel, leaving you with a brighter smile.
Some people complain of tooth sensitivity following an at home bleaching session. This is very normal and usually just temporary. Soon after the whitening is complete, the tooth enamel remineralizes and the sensitivity should stop.
There is a limit to how white your teeth can get. Once the internal stains have been removed, continued use of whitening products will start to break down the proteins in your teeth. If you use home whitening products too often, they can lead to brittle teeth, worn enamel, and tooth sensitivity that won’t go away.
Over use of bleaching products can also lead to a blotchy tooth appearance. Hydrogen peroxide strips away the lighter outside tooth enamel, and can expose the darker internal layer of dentin.
It is very important to follow the directions on all teeth whitening products. If used incorrectly, or if the strip placement is off, dental strips can cause gum irritation. If the product is swallowed it can also cause stomach and intestinal irritation. Always follow directions, and if you have any questions it is best to consult a dentist in Oshawa.
Whitening toothpaste uses a different approach to whiten your teeth. Instead of bleach, it contains abrasives, such as hydrated silica to scrub away surface stains on your teeth, such as coffee, red wine and other foods. It acts like sandpaper, and gently removes stains.
If used too long, these abrasives can start to sand away parts of your tooth enamel. Worn enamel will make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold foods. You may even have you avoid eating foods like ice cream, or drinking hot and cold beverages.
If your tooth enamel is worn it means that your teeth are more prone to chipping or cracking. In extreme cases of enamel erosion, your teeth can become soft and bend if pressure is applied.
Teeth Whitening Doesn’t Work For Everyone
Teeth whitening products are made to work on natural teeth. If you have ceramic or porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges or dental implants, the hydrogen peroxide will not whiten them. If you do decide to bleach your teeth it can lead to an unevenly coloured smile because the artificial teeth will remain darker coloured.
Also, teeth with internal stains from medication such as tetracycline or too much fluoride as a child will not respond to teeth whitening products.
Teeth whitening with hydrogen peroxide is safe, if used as directed. The best way to get a shining white smile, is to find a dentist who can advise you on teeth whitening in Oshawa. They can help you find the best at home procedure to get that dazzling white smile.