Americans place a lot of value on their smiles. In the past few years, cosmetic whitening has gained a lot of popularity, and at-home whitening products are now one of the most frequently-used beauty products in the country. They’re easy to get ahold of, they’re simple to use, they don’t cost a lot of money, and they really work. But are these whitening products safe for your teeth? There has been some controversy regarding the safety of some home teeth whitening products, and at Creason & Weber Family Dentistry, we’d like to get the answers out there, so you can rest assured that you and your teeth are safe.
So, are they okay for your teeth?
If used as directed, over-the-counter teeth whitening products are perfectly safe for your teeth. Most types use a formula from hydrogen peroxide that lifts stains from coffee, smoking, and tea from the exterior of your teeth. As long as you don’t overdo the whitening, and you follow the directions, you will safely see results relatively quickly.
Can they damage your enamel?
We get this question a lot, and generally speaking, the answer is no. While everything that you eat can slowly break down your enamel, there’s no proof that shows at-home whitening products increase this damage in any way.
It is best to stay away from any whitening product containing chlorine dioxide, as it is acidic and can do more damage to your teeth than other products. We recommend instead that you use a product with hydrogen peroxide.
Do I need to talk to my dentist?
It’s a very good idea to talk to your dentist before you start using even over-the-counter whitening products. He or she will know if you have any outstanding conditions that might prevent you from using them. In some cases, those with sensitive teeth are recommended to avoid these sorts of products, and if you have certain issues like cavities, or caps, a dentist may advise you against whitening. Additionally, pregnant and nursing mothers should not use over-the-counter whiteners for precautionary health reasons.
What else should I know about teeth whitening?
It’s very important that you follow teeth whitening instructions exactly. Overuse of whitening products can lead to extreme tooth sensitivity, and if you don’t ask your dentist before you start the whitening process, there can be some side effects if you had a cavity or outstanding dental health issue.
As long as you use at-home whitening products as directed, you should see a brighter smile in no time! And of course if you would prefer a professional whitening instead, that’s always an option. It doesn’t take much time, and you only have to do it once to see immediate results.
If you’re thinking about an in-office whitening, give Creason & Weber Family Dentistry a call! We are currently accepting new patients, and we use the top-of-the-line Zoom! Whitening procedure to ensure that our patients see exactly the results they want. Give us a call at (616) 842-0822 or contact us online today!