Does Teeth Whitening Damage Teeth?
In the quest for a brighter, more radiant smile, teeth whitening has become a popular and widely accessible solution. With a range of over-the-counter products and professional treatments available, people are increasingly turning to teeth whitening to enhance their smiles.
Although this is a growing trend, does teeth whitening damage teeth?
This article examines the science behind teeth whitening methods and their effects on oral health to answer the question, “Does teeth whitening damage teeth?”
Whether you are considering whitening your teeth or are curious about the side effects, this article offers general insights to guide your understanding and help you decide whether or not teeth whitening is for you.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Teeth whitening is a form of cosmetic dentistry and involves bleaching your teeth to lighten the colour of the enamel, the external layer of your tooth. While the enamel is the strongest substance in your body, it can be stained by foreign materials, such as tea, coffee, red wine, cigarette smoke and certain food.
If these foreign materials are left on your teeth for too long, they cause staining, penetrating deep into the enamel surface’s natural imperfections. In conjunction with good, regular cleaning, teeth whitening effectively removes the deeper stains.
So, how do dentists whiten teeth? The main ingredients used in teeth whitening are bleaching agents, hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. The chemical comes in gel form, which is then applied to the teeth. Sometimes, a light is used during teeth whitening treatments, too.
There are two main types of teeth whitening:
In-chair teeth whitening
How do dentists whiten teeth? At Admire Dentistry, we offer in-chair whitening treatments at our clinic. The hydrogen peroxide gel is applied to your teeth during this process, and a light is placed over the top. The UV light is used to amplify the whitening power of the hydrogen peroxide even further, allowing for whiter, brighter teeth.
In-chair teeth whitening can take anywhere between 60-90 minutes. However, you will see results instantly.
Take-home teeth whitening
We also provide take-home teeth whitening kits at Admire Dentistry.
To whiten your teeth at home, your dentist will custom-make thin, plastic trays that fit over your teeth. You will then be given some hydrogen peroxide gel in the correct strength to suit your needs and teeth whitening preferences.
Once you’re home, place the teeth whitening gel in the trays and the tray in your mouth. Your dentist will tell you how much gel to use and how long to wear the trays.
Unlike in-chair teeth whitening, it will take much longer to see the results of at-home teeth whitening treatments.
Impact On Oral Health
While at-home and dentist teeth whitening treatments may be a great way to improve the look of your teeth and enhance your smile, they may have some side effects.
Teeth sensitivity is one of the most common side effects of teeth whitening, whether at the dentist or home.
Teeth sensitivity can occur when consuming hot or cold food and drinks. The sensitivity can also feel like a sharp tooth pain, sometimes out of nowhere. However, rest assured the sensitivity should be temporary.
If you experience teeth sensitivity, your dentist may recommend sensitive toothpaste or specially formulated soothe gel to reduce the sensitivity.
Another side effect of at-home and dentist teeth whitening is gingival irritation. This is when your gums become irritated due to the contact on your gums with the whitening treatment. However, the irritation shouldn’t stick around for long.
While enamel corrosion is an extreme and not very common side effect of teeth whitening, it can still happen if you don’t follow your dentist’s instructions.
While enamel is the strongest substance in the body, excessive or incorrect use of teeth-whitening products can cause it to erode. This is a common side effect of bleaching toothpastes that are abrasive and essentially scrub the hydrogen peroxide into the enamel.
To avoid this extreme side effect, it’s recommended to follow dentist teeth whitening instructions and get in contact with your dentist if you have any issues or pain.
Tips For Improving Oral Health
If you’re worried about your oral health and want to improve it, here are the best tips for doing so:
Brush your teeth twice a day
It’s no secret that every dentist recommends brushing your teeth in the morning and night. However, many of us continue to neglect brushing our teeth before going to bed at night. But brushing your teeth before bed is important as it removes the germs and plaque accumulating on your teeth throughout the day.
Brush your teeth properly
Brushing your teeth twice a day isn’t enough; the way you brush your teeth is just as important. In fact, it’s almost as bad as not brushing your teeth at all if you don’t brush your teeth properly.
Dentists recommend the best way to brush your teeth properly is in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque.
When you brush your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue! Plaque can also build up on your tongue during the day, leading to bad breath and other oral health problems.
Use a fluoride toothpaste
Forget whitening power and other added nasty chemicals. The most important ingredient you want to look for when buying a new toothpaste is fluoride.
Fluoride is the leading defence against tooth decay as it fights germs that can lead to tooth decay and provides a protective barrier for your teeth.
Floss once a day
Brushing isn’t the only essential part of cleaning your teeth; flossing & using interdental brushes is also important.
Cleaning in between your teeth is not just a way to remove pieces of food stuck between your teeth; it’s an effective way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque build-up and lower inflammation.
Therefore, cleaning in between your teeth once a day, preferably before bed, is essential.
Drink more water
It’s no secret that water is the best drink for your overall health, including oral health.
Dentists recommend drinking water after every meal to help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods and drinks.
Reduce your intake of sugary and acidic foods
When you eat sugary foods, the sugar converts into acid in your mouth, which can result in enamel erosion. These acids are what lead to cavities. Reducing or removing your intake of acidic and surgery foods, and ensuring you drink water after eating is best.
See your dentist every six months
One of the most important ways to stay on top of your oral health is to visit your dentist twice a year.
During your six-monthly visit, your dentist will check your teeth and provide professional cleaning. Not only will your dentist remove dental calculus and look for cavities, but they may spot an issue you never knew about and provide a solution.
Get Professional Teeth Whitening At Admire Dentistry
If you’re insecure about stained teeth and want to enhance your smile with teeth whitening, book an appointment at Admire Dentistry.
But does teeth whitening damage teeth? It can, but only if you excessively and incorrectly use teeth whitening treatments.
We understand the concerns about potential tooth damage from whitening treatments, which is why we use state-of-the-art techniques and products that are effective and prioritise the health and safety of your teeth.
For a safe and effective teeth whitening treatment, consider the in-chair treatment at Admire Dentistry. Let us help you achieve the radiant smile you’ve been looking for!