The Pros and Cons of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a common procedure in cosmetic dentistry that uses bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to make your teeth appear whiter and brighter. It can be performed in the dental office by your dentist, or you can choose at-home whitening products like gels and strips. The benefits are mainly cosmetic plus the confidence and improved self-esteem. However, tooth sensitivity and gum irritation can occur as strong bleaching agents can cause gum burns, a burning sensation in the throat and an upset stomach.
Followed properly, peroxide-based teeth whitening agents are safe. You can find them in whitening products like whitening rinses, toothpastes, strips, gels, tray-based whiteners and in-office whitening treatments. The procedure should be supervised by an oral health care provider to reduce possible risks and maximize whitening results.
However, whitening your teeth too often increases the risk of negative side effects, such as tooth sensitivity and damage to tooth enamel and gums. But there’s no official guideline for how often whitening can be done safely. That’s why it’s important to get your dentist’s recommendation and always follow product instructions.
Knowing the pros and cons of teeth whitening will help you determine if it’s a good fit for you. When used properly, teeth whitening products are considered to be safe, but they are not effective for all type of stains. They are not effective on veneers, fillings, crowns, and caps and likely won’t work for discoloration that is brown, gray or caused by injury or medication.
The ADA recommends that if you choose to use a bleaching product, you should only do so after consultation with a dentist. This is especially important for patients with many fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains. A thorough oral examination by your dentist is essential to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment. The dentist may then advise the patient and supervise the use of bleaching agents within the context of a comprehensive, appropriately sequenced treatment plan.
Better Smiles and Whiter Teeth
If you are an appropriate candidate for teeth whitening, let your Downtown Seattle dentist guide you through your personalized treatment plan. This will ensure you are getting a safe and the most appropriate teeth whitening course. A careful plan makes for better smiles.