Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

There’s not a person among us who doesn’t wish to have whiter teeth. Many factors contribute to not-so-white teeth, including medications, foods we eat, beverages we drink, trauma, and–the least favorite–age. Fortunately for us in this day and age, there are plenty of options available to help us obtain that dazzling white smile. Many people turn to home remedies for help, whether it’s for economic reasons or safety precautions. If you fall under the latter category and are worried about the safety of bleaching in a dental office, let’s put those fears to rest.

Whitening Teeth in the Dentist Office

Dentists use a bleaching agent–stronger than the agents found in over-the-counter teeth whitening kits–to erase the surface stains from your teeth. The bleach is very strong, but it is also very safe for your mouth. To prevent possible irritation, however, the dentist will protect your gums, tongue, and lips from the process.

Since dentists use such a strong bleaching agent, the professional teeth whitening treatment typically produces far more drastic results far more often than the over-the-counter treatments. Many professional treatments lighten teeth up to seven shades whiter after just one session. Home treatments can take up to three or four applications to produce similar results.

Teeth Whitening Effects

There are minimal side effects from teeth whitening, but the most common side effect is greater teeth sensitivity, especially with patients who are already prone to teeth sensitivity. This happens more often with home treatments than professional treatments since your dentist can assess your teeth to prepare a custom bleaching session for you as well as ensure that the bleaching agent remains on your teeth for a finite time.

Of course, before you try any teeth whitening attempt, whether it’s professional or over-the-counter, always talk to your dentist first for recommendations.

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