How Safe is Tooth Whitening?

Over the years, tooth whitening treatments have developed greatly due to their rising popularity. But how safe are tooth whitening treatments? Is there a difference in safety when comparing at-home whitening products to professional whitening treatments?

We have compiled the answers to your pressing tooth whitening questions to help you make the right decision for your dental health.

How Safe is Professional Tooth Whitening?

A professional tooth whitening treatment involves temporarily opening the pores in your teeth and lifting the stains and discoloration. To do this normally requires using an abrasive toothpaste, which like aggressive brushing, can be damaging to your teeth. However, professional teeth whitening is incredibly safe as your teeth are able to naturally remineralize and rehydrate after a teeth whitening session.

Ultra-violet (UV) light can be used during certain whitening treatments to make the whitening gel act faster. This process is FDA regulated and can only be done under the supervision of a dentist. This type of treatment provides quick results but is expensive and time-consuming. The results are temporary and need to be maintained through more treatments or at-home products.

Generally, the only negative side effect of tooth whitening is sensitivity. This is a normal response as your teeth are normally dehydrated after a treatment. Dehydration causes the nerves in your teeth to become more receptive to changes in temperature. This sensitivity will disappear within 12 to 36 hours after whitening.

An image of a woman's smile before and after receiving a tooth whitening treatment.

How Safe are Home Tooth Whitening Products?

Years of research shows that bleaching and other whitening methods to be both safe and effective. Tooth sensitivity after using a whitening product, although normal, is becoming less of an issue due to product advances. There are also products that help eliminate any sensitivity caused by whitening products, such as fluoride toothpaste.

Although at-home whitening products are effective, users must remember these products take a few days or even months before yielding any results. People with severe stains may have to use whitening products for years before they achieve the desired results.

Tooth whitening is also not a permanent process and needs to be maintained through continuous product use or professional treatments.

What to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Tooth Whitening Treatment

Tooth whitening treatments will not whiten restorative fixtures, such as caps, veneers or crowns, nor will the treatment damage your dental work. However, this may have an impact on whether or not you can receive professional whitening treatments, since the color of your dental work would no longer match your natural teeth after a treatment.

People with sensitive teeth can not undergo certain tooth whitening treatments, therefore you should always consult a dentist before undergoing a treatment or using whitening products.

When choosing a product, always check the label to make sure it is clinically approved, and always follow product directions. Your dentist will also be able to advise you on the best products.

Dentists may not allow you to receive teeth whitening or use whitening products if you have gum disease; worn tooth enamel; cavities; or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

At Corner Cove Dental, we can provide you with the best advice and tooth whitening treatments modern dentistry has to offer. For more information or to make an appointment, contact our Draper, Utah office today.

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