Enamel is what gives your teeth their white color when you are born, including both your baby and adult teeth.
Of course, your teeth aren’t 100 percent white, but they do have a brighter sheen to them when you are young. This is mainly because you have not yet been exposed to all the things that can dull your enamel’s shine.
Unfortunately, as you get older, your enamel begins to wear away. The internal portion of our teeth darkens over time, causing our smile to become more yellow and less white. The tissue that surrounds the nerves and blood vessels inside your teeth becomes darker as the years go by, no matter how well you brush or floss. There is no way to repair this natural erosion, and so your teeth begin to take on more of a dull gray color.
With everything we eat and drink, our teeth are bound to become stained. Most people would like a bright and white smile, but sometimes they go to extreme lengths, and can end up damaging their teeth without even knowing it.
Today, the business of teeth whitening has become exceedingly popular. It could be the selfie generation, where it seems like people are taking more photos of themselves than at any other time in human history. The obsession to achieve the perfect smile may be becoming simpler and more affordable, but teeth whitening itself still costs Americans billions of dollars for at-home teeth whitening products, whitening toothpastes, as well as going to the dentist to bleach their teeth. People will stop at nothing until they are happy with what they perceive to be perfect. However, little did we know, that teeth whitening can be dangerous.
To put it into context, “whitening” is any process that will make teeth appear whiter. This can be achieved in two ways: a product can bleach the tooth, which means that it actually changes the natural tooth color. Bleaching products contain peroxide, that help remove deep (intrinsic) and surface (extrinsic) stains. Secondly, people can achieve whiter teeth with non-bleaching whitening products, such as toothpastes, which contain agents that work by physical or chemical action to help remove surface stains only.
It is getting easier for people to buy at-home whitening kits and other products to whiten their teeth. However, there are risks and complications that can occur without supervised help from a dentist, which include:
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Gum Disease
- Burning from whitening gel
- Erosion of gums and enamel
- Nausea and sickness
The American Dental Association recommends that you get a checkup with your dentist before you use whitening products on your own. It is preferred to get your teeth whitened by a professional, to eliminate risk and complications.
Whether or not you decide to whiten your teeth, keep in mind that good daily oral health habits like brushing and flossing and regular checkups and cleanings go far in keeping your smile bright and healthy.
To learn more about the dangers of teeth whitening, and how to do it properly with the help of a professional dentist, call Hagerman Dental Care at (651) 646-2392 or use our online form to request an appointment.