Teeth Whitening: Is it safe?
Teeth whitening done correctly is safe. As long as you follow the directions given to you by your dentist if you are doing professional teeth whitening or follow the direction on the over-the-counter products, you usually don’t have any side effect except teeth sensitivity. Bleaching products contain peroxide(s) that help remove deep (intrinsic) and surface (extrinsic) stains.
Sensitivity may occur in people during and after whitening procedures, particularly when they eat hot or cold foods, but usually disappears after 48 hours once you stop the treatment. This is because the bleaching gel opens up the dental tubules (pores) and the active ingredient loses effectiveness quickly and once the pores close again, the sensitivity subsides. Avoid acidic beverages such as soda or sports drinks for a couple of hours to protect your teeth. If during treatment you are too sensitive, you can shorten the time (for example do 30 minutes instead of an hour) or stop the whitening for couple of days and then resume. You can also brush your teeth with a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain potassium nitrate, which helps soothe your teeth’s nerve endings. When you do teeth whitening, your dentist usually places you on a special diet for the 48 hrs, since the pores are open, they can grab color from what you eat and drink.
3 ways to whiten your teeth:
- In-office teeth whitening i.e. ZOOM
- Home whitening with custom made trays and professional strength gels
- Over-the -counter products with weaker strength gels
In a few cases, your dentist may discourage dental bleaching:
- If you have gum disease, teeth with worn enamel, cavities or particularly sensitive teeth
- If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding
- If you have tooth-colored crowns, caps or other dental work in your front teeth, which can’t be bleached
The bottom line is that for the vast majority of us, teeth whitening is a perfectly safe and harmless procedure which in a short time, you can see a dramatic change in your smile. Don’t forget, your smile is the first impression, so why not make that a beautiful impression!
By Ladan Zinati