Is Teeth Whitening Safe, and Does it work?

Is Teeth Whitening Safe, and Does it work?

Feb 21, 2022

Over time, teeth can discolor or get stained. Common causes of teeth stains are tooth decay, certain medications, dental trauma, poor dental hygiene, and high consumption of acidic and highly pigmented items. Stained, yellowed, or discolored teeth can make you look and feel self-conscious. They can ruin your smile, self-confidence, and social life, which can lead to secondary problems such as stress and depression.

Luckily, there are options for brightening your smile! If you want whiter teeth then teeth whitening is one of the easiest, quickest, and most affordable options available. When considering teeth whitening, it’s worth noting that not all stains will respond to the whitening treatments. For instance, internal stains from certain medications and tooth decay can resist whitening from bleaching agents. Bonding, veneers, and crowns can cover stains. For this reason, you should visit a dental office near you to determine the type of stains you have and the most appropriate whitening treatment option.

Does Teeth Whitening Work? Your Whitening Options

When done correctly, teeth whitening is effective and safe. However, wrong whitening products and techniques can cause enamel erosion, teeth sensitivity, and gum irritation. For excellent results, make sure you work with a qualified dentist who will help you choose the correct whitening products.

You have three primary options when looking to whiten your teeth:

  • Professional teeth whitening,
  • Over-the-counter teeth whitening
  • At-home teeth whitening

Over-the-counter DIY whitening kits are popular for patients with minor stains and looking for a cost-effective option. Home products such as charcoal and lemon are also standard options for teeth whitening.

It’s important to note that not all whitening products are safe, or approved which is why you should use them with caution. Consult your dentist for recommendations. Also, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid complications. Keep in mind that over-the-counter teeth whitening and home remedies might not be effective for deep stains.

Professional Whitening

If you’re looking for the most effective, safe, long-lasting, and quickest way to brighten your teeth, professional whitening is the way to go. With professional whitening, you have two options: in-office-based whitening and at-home whitening kits from your dentist.

In-office teeth whitening procedures offer immediate whitening results, typically in less than two hours. The treatment involves strong whitening agents such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Unlike DIY kits, in-office whitening is entirely safe as long an approved dentist provides it.

Before giving the treatment, the dentist cleans your teeth thoroughly to eliminate plaque and tartar. Next, they apply the bleaching agents on the teeth and activate them with a special laser or UV light. After the treatment, the dentist brushes and rinses your mouth. Most patients only need one whitening procedure to achieve a whiter smile.

Your dentist will give you a set of custom-fit trays and whitening gel. The whitening gels contain lower concentrations of bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide. The trays are to be worn for about 30 minutes to two hours daily over a couple of weeks. On average, at-home customized trays show results within two weeks or so.

How Often Is Too Often?

After teeth whitening, you should avoid staining habits to prevent reversing the results. If you bleach too often, you could experience enamel erosion, teeth sensitivity, cavities, and tooth decay.

A good dentist will warn you to avoid regular whitening treatments. Most experts advise whitening your teeth only once a year. Consult your dentist to know how many whitening treatments are safe. Below are tips to prevent teeth stains and avoid the need for multiple whitening treatments:

  • Avoid or quit smoking and tobacco products.
  • Limit consumption of highly pigmented items such as coffee, tea, red wine, berries, food colors, dark candy, and much more. If you must take these items, brush or rinse your mouth afterward.
  • Avoid acidic foods such as apple cider vinegar.
  • Brush twice daily.
  • Floss daily.
  • Avoid colored dental products.
  • Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you looking interested in teeth whitening services? Contact Dental Arts of Plymouth to book your appointment.

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