Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Teeth Whitening - is it Safe?

Numerous studies have been conducted on the various ways people whiten their teeth, and the vast majority have found that the practice of teeth whitening is not only safe, but also effective. There are several ways to get whiter, brighter teeth, including teeth whitening procedure options from your dentist. Determining the best teeth whitening method for you depends on several factors.

How Teeth Whitening Works

Over the course of several years, many people find that their teeth become yellowish and dull. This can occur for many reasons, but typically smoking and food are the culprits. Teeth whitening options are designed to restore your teeth’s brilliant white color. Today, there are three very popular methods.

  • Whitening toothpaste - These are simply toothpastes that contain baking soda and other ingredients designed to facilitate the teeth whitening process. They can whiten your teeth significantly, but they do not provide immediate results.
  • Whitening strips and gels - Aside from whitening toothpaste, you can also buy strips and gels over-the-counter. Though they can work more quickly than toothpaste, it may take several treatments before you get the peak results.
  • In-office bleaching - Finally, there is a teeth whitening procedure available from your dentist that combines the use of bleaching agents with lasers or lights. Your dentist applies the bleaching agent – usually a gel – and then goes over it with a laser or light. In just 30 minutes to one hour, you can get incredible results that exceed what most at-home products can provide.

Side Effects of Teeth Whitening Techniques

All teeth whitening options can put you at risk for certain side effects. Typically, the stronger the product, meaning the better and faster it works, the higher your risk. Toothpastes carry the least risk, and in some cases none at all, particularly if baking soda is the only whitening ingredient. Gels and strips can cause some tooth sensitivity over time, especially if they are used more frequently than directed.

In-office bleaching is by far the best teeth whitening method in terms of efficacy, but it does come with a unique set of potential side effects. Remember that while most people never experience any side effects from their teeth whitening procedure, they are still possible, and they include:

  • Sensitivity - During the teeth whitening procedure, and perhaps even for a day or two after, you may notice that your teeth are more sensitive to hot, cold, or even touch than usual.
  • Irritation of Soft Tissues - If your gums are exposed to the whitening solution during the procedure, you may experience some irritation from mild chemical burns. This can appear as white blotches on your gums accompanies by mild pain and soreness, and it will resolve itself very quickly.
  • Unexpected Results - Many patients believe that their dentists can restore their teeth to perfect white after a single treatment, but this is often not the case. The amount of staining and the frequency of your whitening procedures affects your results. What’s more, veneers, caps, crowns, and fillings cannot be bleached in this manner.

If you are interested in learning more about the various teeth whitening options, or if you would like to schedule a consultation or appointment for a teeth whitening procedure, call Summit Heights Dental today for more information. We are experienced in various teeth whitening options and can help you make the best decisions for your unique needs.

Contact us today to set up your free consultation, and make the move to a happier and healthier smile.

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