Whiter smiles in addition to proper dental hygiene are what we hope to achieve when we look for dental products to buy. Teeth whitening is gaining more prominence and, in response to this popularity, various teeth whitening techniques have been made available1. Teeth whitening involves making the teeth look lighter in color through strips, gels, toothpastes, Listerine® Mouthwash and others. Teeth whitening products mostly involve hydrogen peroxide or fluoride, which has been around for quite some time now and has been used by many, including dentists2.
However, some remain worried and pose questions, such as ‘is whitening your teeth bad?’ or ‘is teeth whitening painful?’ It is comforting to know though that “current research about tooth whitening shows that it is safe and effective when manufacturer’s protocol is followed1.”
Receiving an accurate answer to “Is teeth whitening safe?” requires taking the following indicators into consideration:
Choosing the Right Method
There are different ways you could whiten your teeth, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter whitening strips and gels, whitening rinses, tray-based tooth whiteners, and in-office whitening techniques 1. Some methods show more evident results than others; for example, a whitening toothpaste may take up to six weeks to show results whereas other methods show results in a week3. Also, the intensity of the whiteness depends on the method used3. Therefore, it is essential to know what result you are looking for!
Choosing the Right Product
There are plenty of products you can choose from, some are over-the-counter, and some are prescribed. Choosing the right product is a make-it or break-it kind of deal. You would want to go with products whose producers have a track-record in the field, which have been used by many, and which clearly provide guidelines into how to achieve desired results, leading us right into the next point!
Following the manufacturer’s protocol is one way to ensure that teeth whitening does not become a bad, painful experience for you. Read the instructions carefully and understand what is expected of you to do. Do not keep the product on your teeth longer than expected in hopes of achieving faster results. Leaving the product for a longer period might actually backfire and lead to teeth and gingival concerns.
Listening to your Teeth
One way to know whether the whitening method/product is safe on your teeth is through listening to your teeth. Your teeth will also tell you whether the method/product is efficient. It is not unusual to experience increased sensitivity when whitening your teeth; however, this might be an indicator to reevaluate your use of the product through using it less frequently or replacing it with a milder product. Do not allow your teeth or gums to experience discomfort on the expense of whiter-looking teeth. Instead, consult your dentist as the following point explains.
Consulting your Dental Care Specialist
It goes without saying that a dental care specialist consultation can always be useful to provide you with further insights on the best protocol to use throughout your teeth whitening journey. A dental care specialist can answer any question you have, no matter how simple it is. Ask about the methods and products of teeth whitening, what you can expect, and what the duration for the treatment is.
Risks related to Teeth Whitening
What is the risk? Research has answered that teeth whitening is safe and pain-free when the above-mentioned indicators are followed through. In the case that your teeth and gums are already sensitive, teeth whitening might contribute to this sensitivity if not used properly4.
Duration of Whitened Teeth
It is worth noting that teeth whitening is not permanent but can last up to three years if avoid certain behaviors, such as smoking or drinking tea or coffee, which stain your teeth5.
On a final note, do not forget to flaunt your white smile wherever you go and to be all smiles!