What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is all the new craze, but is it as safe and effective as everyone thinks? To find out, let's take a look at what some dentists aren't telling you about teeth whitening and it's possibly harmful effects.
To start off with, let's just get this out of the way: teeth whitening can be very safe and effective when performed correctly on the right candidate. Teeth whitening is the process by which a whitening agent (typically carbamide peroxide that reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide) restores the natural color of your teeth and then whitens them even further. This “bleaching” effect can create a pearly white smile worthy of Hollywood red carpets.
There are many ways to do teeth whitening, the most effective and safe being seeing a dentist and then following the plan they lay out for you. When you visit your dentist and talk about teeth whitening, you will receive an initial assessment and then find out your best course of action.
What Happens During a Teeth Whitening Assessment?
During your initial visit, your dentist will examine your teeth, gums and oral health to determine a few things. First, they will look to see if your teeth really need whitening, or maybe just a good cleaning. Next, they will determine whether your teeth will be responsive to the process or not—some stains are just too embedded within the enamel to remove through standard teeth whitening processes. Finally, the dentist will assess the overall health of your teeth and gums to make sure that you will not suffer from any adverse effects during the whitening process.
Your dentist will check for:
- Gum recession
- Cracked and chipped teeth
- Missing teeth
- Dental work that might be affected
- Search for possible sensitivity issues
- Address other health concerns for reactions
In most cases, you will be given the green light to start the whitening process. The most popular form of teeth whitening will be first applied in the dentist's office by the dentist or hygienist. While you can and will do this at home, the reason the dentist does it first is to show you the proper way to do it. It also helps that dentists are educated in the specific type and brand of teeth whitening product they provide, meaning what you find on the Internet about directions for one brand might be wrong for the brand your dentist gives you—always follow your dentist's instructions over anyone else. Your mouth is different than the rest of the populations and your dentist understands that.
What Can Go Wrong During Teeth Whitening Procedures?
As we mentioned above, for most people, there will be zero risk if they are a good candidate and the teeth whitening is prescribed and taught by a dentist. That is the number one thing to take away from this—see your dentist before starting teeth whitening! Otherwise, there are a number of bad things that can happen from using the wrong treatment for your mouth and improper application, such as:
- Reduced tooth strength
- Reduced enamel hardness
- Blistering of the gums and inner mouth
- Super sensitivity of the teeth resulting in unbearable pain
- Bleeding of the gums, mouth, esophagus and stomach lining if whitening agents are ingested
- Color changes in surrounding pre-existing dental work including crowns, veneers, fillings, etc.
- Different shades of whitening resulting in multicolored teeth
- Burns or ineffectiveness from products that are too strong or too weak, respectively.
- The average active whitening ingredient level is 6% but different brands range from 3% to 35%.
As you can see, there is a lot that can go wrong with teeth whitening which is why it is better to be safe than sorry when starting the procedure. Visit a dentist that is up to date on the latest teeth whitening products and procedures so that you can get the safest, most effective treatment possible. To find a qualified teeth whitening specialist dentist in Sydney, right now and be on your way to a brighter, healthier, more radiant smile today!