We all know the saying, “You are never fully dressed without a smile.” Everyone wants to have bright white teeth, but for some people that isn’t the case, especially for those who smoke or drink coffee and soda. Teeth whitening is quickly becoming one of the most popular and sought-after cosmetic dental treatments around. Many consumers are now visiting their local dentist for bleaching or laser teeth whitening treatments on a regular basis, regardless of their diet or lifestyle choices.
However, as with many beauty trends, the rise in demand for teeth whitening has led to the rise in dangerous and illegal alternatives, including the sale of unregulated home whitening kits. We’ve explored five of the most common dangers faced by consumers who take their smile into their own hands. Here are four reasons why whitening your teeth at home is dangerous:
1. Damage to enamel:
Home teeth whitening kits often advertise results in just minutes, and in some cases this is true. However, instant whitening kits can cause irreparable damage to enamel if used frequently.
Unlike professional teeth whitening, home kits sometimes contain chlorine dioxide, the same acid used to clean your swimming pool. This ingredient delivers a white glow by stripping the stains from the surface of the teeth, but sadly the enamel will often be removed as well. And enamel is something that doesn’t grow back.
2. Damaged gums:
The majority of home teeth whitening kits also include hydrogen peroxide, causing burns to the soft tissue or receding gums. While some people think peroxide promotes healing or kills bacteria, it also kills or damages healthy cells.
Mouth guards/trays that don’t fit are a common cause of chemical leakage during teeth whitening, but the resulting exposure to hydrogen peroxide can cause both external and internal side effects. One, particularly concerning complication is physical sickness, which is the result of swallowing chemicals during the whitening process.
Many of the problems caused by home teeth whitening stem from the high chance of chemical burns, and mouth infections are no different. Chemical burns can quickly and easily leave parts of the mouth and gum exposed, making them vulnerable to the high levels of bacteria living in the mouth. This problem is significantly more common in consumers who have an ineffective daily dental hygiene routine, due to the excess bacteria found on the tongue or between the teeth.
To learn about alternative ways to get that bright white smile without endangering yourself, call Hagerman Dental Care in Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota at (651) 646-2392, or request an appointment online.