Is Teeth Whitening Bad for Your Health?

You’re not the only one dreaming of a dazzling white, movie star smile. A bright smile is a very attractive feature, and many of our habits are working against keeping it that way. Our morning coffee, smoking addition, and consumption of heavily pigmented foods and beverages can quite literally leave their mark on our teeth, making them yellow or grey.


The good news is that there is a range of teeth whitening options on the market, from specialty toothpastes, through gels, strips, and professional treatments at the dentists. What we want to know is if these teeth whitening options are bad for our health.


First, it’s important to distinguish between two main classes of whiteners: surface whiteners and bleaches.


Surface Whiteners rely on using special abrasives that literally polish away surface stains. Though they might sound potentially quite harmful, the truth is that they are unlikely to cause any kind of excessive wear on your teeth as they are not much more than what you get from using the regular toothbrush and toothpaste combination or chewing gum. Though these are quite safe and non-detrimental to your health, their effectiveness is much less than what you would get from having your teeth bleached.


The other main type of whitener is a bleach. Now these come in a number of different forms and strengths, from UV activated bleaches applied by a technician to custom made mouth guards filled with a special bleaching agent. Some mouthwashes or toothpastes even incorporate bleaching ingredients that are meant to safely whiten your teeth.


There are versions of these bleaches that you can pick up from a drug store or specialty store and do yourself, often coming in gel form and usually with a tray that you fill and place on your teeth. However, since you are not a professional technician or dentist, you can really hurt yourself. The health of your teeth and your gums can be compromised if the bleaching agents are not applied properly, causing damage and excessive sensitivities. White gums, numbness, pain, and sensitivities are all issues that you can encounter if you do not have the procedure customized to your oral situation.


If you do want to minimize the potential negative effects of teeth whitening on your health, you should be consulting an expert in teeth whitening in Montreal. He will honestly tell you if your issues are likely to be addressed through bleaching, and then takes special care that only your teeth come in contact with the solution. A professional will also be able to gauge the concentration that can be used on your teeth without damaging the enamel as well as make custom trays to hold your whitening solution without it coming in contact with your gums.


Other methods, like LED or laser whitening are not real, evidence-based whitening techniques, and can, if proper care is not taken, even damage the nerve beneath your teeth, killing your pearly whites. These are often paired with peroxide which is the real agent in this equation, however they make it seem like the light or heat helps with this process, sometimes distracting the client from the bleaching agent.


So all in all, bleaching is not beneficial to your health, however, it does not harm you if you take the proper precautions and enlist the help and guidance of a dental professional. The healthiest approach is to be proactive, avoiding habits which can stain your enamel and maintaining proper care of your teeth. If you do decide to brighten your smile, consult an expert who will be able to evaluate your situation and propose the best course of action that will bring you the results you are looking for without endangering your health.


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