Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

The recent advent of in-home kits have made teeth whitening part of our regular routine. And of course, some still go to their dentist’s office for a professional, cosmetic teeth whitening session. Coffee and red wine drinkers especially utilize the option to keep their teeth pearly white despite their vices. But is teeth whitening safe?

Our teeth are covered with plaque, which is normally regarded as a bad thing, but plaque is part of the enamel that helps protect our teeth from nerve damage. Teeth whitening breaks down the enamel of the teeth, making them more sensitive to touch and temperature.

Risks associated with teeth whitening

If you over-whiten your teeth, you can experience extreme sensitivity. Hot food and drinks such as coffee and tea will cause pain in your nerve receptors. The same goes for very cold food and drinks, such as ice cream or ice water. Most in-home whitening treatments do contain bleach and recommend that you do not swallow, as this can cause internal damage.

At-home treatments

There are many at-home teeth whitening kits. They all include a whitening solution specially designed to break down the enamel of the teeth and then bleach the layer under the surface. Most in-home kits take several sessions to see full results. Some of them come with a pen and require you to individually “draw” bleach on each tooth. Some come in the form of a flexible mouth guard that molds to all your teeth.

At-home treatments only take a few minutes, and then several follow-up treatments to keep teeth white. These do contain bleach, which is why it is important to follow directions and be sure not to swallow the solution.

Natural treatments

A popular natural treatment is activated charcoal, which can be purchased online or in certain health specialty stores. Activated charcoal is a black powder and can be brushed onto the teeth, left for several minutes and rinsed just like the in-home kits.

The results are usually less intense because this treatment does not use bleach. It still breaks down plaque and reveals a whiter, new outer layer of enamel, but without bleaching it. Activated charcoal has fewer health risks, especially when swallowing is considered, because it does not contain bleach. Imbibing too much activated charcoal can negatively affect your digestion, however, as well as make some medications ineffective.

Professional treatments

Any dentists who provide cosmetic treatments will likely have teeth whitening on their menu of services. The benefits of having your teeth whitened professionally is that they will do a thorough deep clean first, and their solution provides extreme results in one visit. It does still use bleach but is applied by a professional.

Making the right choice

Whether at home or with a professional, teeth whitening treatments are widely considered safe. The risk involved is ingesting the bleach solution or over-utilizing whitening kits that can break down teeth enamel to an unhealthy degree, increasing sensitivity.

Looking for teeth whitening near the 20166 area? Call Titan Dental Care at (703) 745-3227.

Recent Posts

Teeth Whitening Enemies: Can Green Tea And Coffee Stain Your Teeth?

Millions of people drink coffee or green tea on a regular basis, and it is important to know how it can affect the shade of your teeth. By understanding the role that green tea and coffee can play on the health and appearance of your teeth, you can take the necessary steps to prevent staining…

6 Things That Will Brighten Your Smile

You might find yourself wondering about new ways to brighten your smile if you are not happy with the appearance of your teeth. A smile is an important part of a person's look and it is one of the first things that others notice about you. People with unsightly smiles often find themselves feeling self-conscious…

What Not To Eat After Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening will beautify your teeth in little time without busting your budget.  As long as you are willing to follow the dentist's directions, this whitening procedure will prove effective.  In particular, dentists are adamant patients should avoid certain foods after having their teeth whitened. The teeth are fairly porous after the teeth whitening procedure.Porous…

Teeth Bleaching FAQ's

Teeth Bleaching FAQYes.  However, the degree and speed at which teeth whitening works depends on the type you use.  The teeth whitening solutions provided at the dentist's office are almost always stronger than the type you can obtain at the local store.  Teeth stains are either extrinsic or intrinsic.The extrinsic variety is along the surface…


Recent Posts

Three Different Oral Surgery Procedures

Three Different Oral Surgery Procedures

Wanting to understand more about oral surgery procedures? If you have recently found out that you are in need of oral surgery, then learning more about the surgical process you need to undergo will help you feel more prepared. When you feel prepared, you are less likely to experience any anxiety regarding the process. When…

What Makes Invisalign Different From Other Clear Aligners?

What Makes Invisalign Different From Other Clear Aligners?

Thanks to the rapid development of modern dental and orthodontic technology, millions of people worldwide have benefitted from the comfort and efficiency of Invisalign clear aligners to straighten uneven teeth. Traditional metal braces can make the wearer feel uncomfortable and juvenile, so clear aligners are an ideal choice for adults in need of a straighter…