How Safe is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening have quickly become one of the most popular ways that people use to improve their physical appearance. It's easy to see why, as so many people relate the quality of one's smile to their overall physical attractiveness. With all of the teeth whitening products on the market, many people ask how safe teeth whitening is. In the past, teeth whitening products worked by using abrasive materials to literally scrape the stains off of the teeth. This procedure was harmful to teeth, as it would take enamel off of the tooth as it removed the stains.

Fortunately, technology has improved the process to the point that almost all commercially available teeth whitening products are perfectly safe to use when administered correctly. These are typically used for one to two weeks. Most over the counter teeth whitening solutions are bleaches (hydrogen peroxide), and work by bleaching the enamel on the teeth to remove the stains from the user's teeth. Some studies show that the bleaching creates pores on the surface of the tooth thus degrading the enamel and providing opportunity for tooth decay. It is recommended, though, that a user stop the treatment and consult a dentist if they begin to feel sensitivity in their teeth after using a bleaching product.

There are also safe teeth whitening solutions that are administered by a dentist, rather than at home by the user. In these cases, the dentist will protect the gums and soft tissue of the mouth and then apply a bleaching agent directly to the teeth. In some procedures, lasers are used to activate and enhance the effect of the whitening gel on the teeth. Since trained dentists perform these procedures, they are considered very safe.

In almost all cases, it is highly recommended that someone looking to whiten their teeth safely consult a dentist before starting a procedure. The dentist can give the person a thorough teeth cleaning and consult the patient on any complications that they may encounter while persuing safe teeth whitening options. Despite that warning, however, most experts agree that teeth whitening is a safe procedure in most normal cases that has a profound effect on the overall appearance of the person undergoing the procedure.

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