Is Teeth Whitening safe? • Bite Dental’s Guide

In recent years, teeth whitening has become increasingly popular. However, many people fail to consider if their method of teeth whitening is safe. Like any other cosmetic treatment, you will see far better results in a safe environment if you consult a professional.

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening involves applying either hydrogen peroxide gel or the use of lights to activate the process of bleaching. These methods work to achieve a whiter smile.

DIY teeth whitening

When it comes to DIY teeth whitening, there are many over the counter options available. These include whitening strips, UV kits, whitening pens, bicarbonate of soda toothpaste, and oil pulling. However, there are dangers associated with this type of teeth whitening. 

Teeth Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are a cheaper option for teeth whitening. However, when used excessively teeth whitening strips are not safe. They will cause damage and sensitivity to your teeth. The stips are also unable to get into the crevices between your teeth, which can result in uneven colour. 

UV Kits

The same ultraviolet light that causes sunburn and skin cancer is used in these kits to lighten teeth. Research has shown that these teeth whitening kits are unsafe. UV teeth whitening kits can lead to stomach problems, mouth infections, toothache, gum-shrinking and nerve damage. These kits can also lead to patchy whitening due to the uneven spread of bleach.

Whitening Pens

Whitening pens are also a common DIY teeth whitening option. However, due to the small proportion of hydrogen peroxide in the solution, the whitening effect can be minimal. Mild gum irritation is also a side effect of these pens. 

Baking Soda Teeth whitening

Bicarbonate of soda is a natural teeth whitener, an ingredient you can find in your kitchen. However, there are dangers associated with using a toothpaste that contains bicarbonate of soda. This ingredient is highly abrasive to the tooth’s enamel. If used often over a long period of time, baking soda can weaken the enamel. In turn, this can increase sensitivity and vulnerability to dental cavities, which are irreversible. Baking soda teeth whitening is therefore highly unsafe for your teeth and their enamel.

Charcoal Toothpaste

Studies have shown that charcoal can lessen some surface stains, as well as reducing bad breath. However, there are many charcoal teeth whitening dangers. Firstly, it’s highly abrasive and can physically wear down tooth enamel. This makes teeth appear more yellow and damaging the outer layer of the tooth. Unlike real teeth whitening products from Bite, charcoal toothpaste does not remove stains below the surface. Using charcoal toothpaste on fillings, crowns or veneers can actually stain them causing discolouration and uneven colour across your smile. 

Most importantly, the vast majority of charcoal toothpaste products do not contain fluoride. This can be extremely detrimental to your oral health, particularly for those prone to cavities and decay. It is therefore not safe to substitute charcoal toothpaste for your regular fluoride toothpaste.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has become increasingly popular in recent years. This method involves swishing a tablespoon of oil around your mouth, to extract the toxins in your mouth and body. However, there is no evidence that supports this.

Teeth Whitening at Bite Dental

Unlike DIY teeth whitening, Bite Dental offers methods which are both effective and safe.

At-home teeth whitening

To whiten your teeth at home, you can have moulds taken and custom reusable trays made. Once your trays are ready for collection, your dentist or hygienist will provide syringes of whitening gel along with full instructions to use them at home. Depending on what is right for you, your practitioner will determine the best percentage and formula for you to use. This typically varies from around 4% to 14%. 

At home, you simply squeeze small amounts of gel into the trays and place over your teeth. You then wear these trays for a predetermined amount of time that will be suggested to you by your dentist or hygienist. This can be from 15 minutes to one hour and can be adjusted to suit your lifestyle. Your practitioner will also suggest how many days you should whiten your teeth for – for a few days up to two weeks. All teeth whitening clients at Bite Dental receive a complimentary ‘top-up’ solution at every six-monthly check-up to maintain your bright and healthy smile.

In-chair teeth whitening

We offer different types of teeth whitening at Bite Dental including the incredible Philips Zoom! whitening which can take your teeth up to 8 shades whiter in under one hour. This treatment is done in-chair and is convenient due to the small amount of time needed. Zoom! is particularly good for those with non-sensitive teeth as the percentage of hydrogen peroxide tends to be higher (approximately 14%). The LED light works to accelerate the bleaching process, leaving you with wonderfully white teeth in as little as 45 minutes. This is the most efficient way to whiten teeth and is also the more costly option.

If you are looking at getting your teeth whitened, or any other cosmetic procedure, it is important that you consult a specialist. Don’t fall for the advertising claims that distort and amplify the results. It is important to consider the dangers of DIY teeth whitening. After all, this treatment is going into your mouth, so you want to ensure it is safe as well as effective. Right now, we are offering new patients a full check-up for $99. This involves a consultation with a dentist, a full check-up exam, and any necessary x-rays. You are also able to discuss your smile and whitening goals.  

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