Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

Have you been considering whitening your teeth? As you probably know, there are many different teeth whitening options to choose from, including whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, bleaching trays and lasers. While the promise of a beautiful, pearly smile can be enticing; you may have concerns about whether or not whitening your teeth is safe. If you’re not sure, let’s discuss what tooth whitening entails, what your options are for teeth whitening, and how safe each of those options are so you can make an informed decision on whether it is right for you.

Why whiten?

As we get older, our teeth can become stained or discolored. Coffee, smoking, medications, and certain foods can destroy the original pearly luster of younger or healthy teeth. Thankfully, teeth whitening can lighten the shades of your teeth, which, in turn, brightens your smile. Teeth whitening makes teeth lighter by either removing external stains from the teeth or bleaching those stains away.

What are my choices when it comes to teeth whitening?

When it comes to whitening your teeth, there are several different options. Teeth whitening can be performed professionally at your dentist’s office, at home with professional products you get from your dentist, or at home with over-the-counter products. Which option you choose depends on your desired results, how much you want to spend, how you want the treatment administered, and if your dentist deems it is best for your teeth.

Are there any side effects of teeth whitening?

Most mainstream whitening treatments are safe to use, so long as you follow the directions. However, some products, especially when use incorrectly, may temporarily irritate your gums. For those with sensitive teeth, teeth whitening may cause pain. To cope with this, you can try using toothpaste or mouthwash that is made for sensitive teeth. These products usually contain potassium nitrate and a sodium fluoride gel to numb any sensations, which usually wear off soon after the treatment is concluded.

Which method of teeth whitening should I use?

When it comes to whitening your teeth, there are several options, from at home whitening strips to professional treatments. It all comes down to personal choice and the recommendations of your dentist. However, if you’re looking for the safest option, going to a dentist you trust who specializes in whitening treatments is your best choice. Seek out a board-certified dentist who performs these treatments on a daily basis, and has the education and experience necessary to ensure your experience is safe and that you are completely satisfied with your bright new smile. The advantages of a professional in-office teeth whitening is that it provides the fastest and most dramatic results, there are no messy trays, and it can be done in less than an hour.

Teeth Whitening Isn’t for Everyone

Bottom Line:  Teeth Whitening is Safe

For the most part, teeth whitening, especially when performed or prescribed by your dentist, is very safe, as long as they are done as recommended. Teeth whitening products and procedures are constantly being evaluated for their safety and effectiveness and the conclusion is that they are safe. Proper usage is the key to achieving successful results with the least amount of side effects. Rest assured that as long as the products are being used properly, teeth whitening is extremely safe. Visit your dentist to talk about the different teeth whitening options available to you. It’s time to get a beautiful and bright smile.

However…

If you’re considering whitening your teeth, you should know that it should not be done if you have active cavities or are in the middle of ongoing dental work. Also, whitening products are designated for use on natural teeth. If you have crowns, bridges, or implants, you will need to speak to your dentist on how to treat those teeth and then blend them with the rest of your teeth.

Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers in-office teeth whitening that can brighten your smile up to eight shades whiter and in as little as 45 minutes. Dr. Hagerman and his team are leaders in helping to create beautiful and healthy smiles. If you have any questions about whitening your teeth, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagerman, please call our office at (651) 646-2392 or you can request an appointment online