With celebrities donning gleaming white teeth on the screen, in magazines, and on social media, it is hardly surprising that you are considering a teeth whitening treatment. There is nothing wrong with having this desire, as white teeth can boost your confidence and happiness and project that you are young and healthy.
However, some people turn to an off-the-shelf teeth whitening treatment rather than seeing their dentist. Turning to self-treatment can put you in danger of damaging your teeth and gums or other health issues such as mouth infections and stomach problems.
We always recommend that you choose professional teeth whitening, and to explain why we take a look at the dangers of at-home dental whitening kits.
The Rise Of At Home Teeth Whitening Treatment
You do not need to look hard to find teeth whitening products on the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies, promising a Hollywood smile in seconds. The most common style of treatment is a mouth guard that you fill with a chemical gel. There is no custom mouthguard made from taking an impression of your teeth, just one size that will fit poorly and cause the chemicals in the gel to leak out and potentially damage your oral or general health.
Of course, it is hugely convenient and tempting to pick up a bleaching kit as you walk down the oral care aisle in your supermarket, but is it really worth the risk?
What’s In Your Treatment & Chemical Reactions
Your at-home teeth whitening kit might include chlorine dioxide, which is an acid also used to clean swimming pools. Although this chemical will whiten your teeth, it can also strip away your teeth’ enamel, causing irreparable damage.
Hydrogen peroxide is another chemical that may be in your off-the-shelf gel, and with a poorly fitting mouth guard, this can leak out and burn your gums, cheeks, or tongue. In severe cases, irreversible gum recession and high tooth sensitivity can occur. With burns to the soft tissue in your mouth, you are exposed to the risks of bacterial infection.
Teeth whitening strips create the same dangers, and when used extensively, they can also cause white spots to form on your gums. Unable to make contact with the crevices in your teeth, you can also be left with uneven results, making it a far from perfect teeth whitening treatment.
The Lasting Damage To Your Teeth & Gums
Research has shown that over-the-counter UV kits can also cause lasting damage to your teeth and gums. Nerve damage, gum shrinkage, mouth infections, toothache, and stomach problems are all potential risks.
We should also offer a warning here not to use toothpaste with bicarbonate of soda as your regular toothpaste. While you may see some short-term results, the abrasiveness of bicarbonate of soda can wear away your teeth’ enamel, heightening the risks of dental cavities.
The safest and longest-lasting results are always achieved by opting for professional teeth whitening offered by your dentist. Dental whitening uses bespoke mouth guards made just for you, and the active ingredients only available to dentists will brighten your teeth and even repair your enamel. A nano-hydroxyapatite serum can also be used to repair and remineralise the tooth’s surface after whitening.
Please contact the team at Grosvenor Dental Practice to arrange an appointment to discuss professional teeth whitening that is effective and safe.