If you want to have whiter teeth, you’re not alone. We all want to have pretty white teeth, but over the counter whiteners can be a problem, and most people don’t even realize it. It’s normal to want a lovely bright smile. White teeth have come to mean health and beauty, but getting it the wrong way can cause serious problems.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, home bleaching that your dentist might provide you with, actually causes demineralization of the enamel on the teeth. This action can actually mean that the surface of the teeth begins to erode over time.
Reina Tanaka, PhD; author of the study and assistant professor for the Showa University School of Dentistry, Japan says that ongoing mineral loss can cause severe deterioration of the structure of the tooth and can cause cavities.
The reason that this can happen is because of the ingredients used. In the office, your dentist uses a solution of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide, which goes deep into the enamel of the tooth. It activates a process that encourages mineralization. The do-it-yourself kits your dentist provides have less hydrogen peroxide in them. Instead, they use carbamide peroxide, which decomposes and releases hydrogen peroxide. These kits only affect the top layer of the teeth, which can cause loss of minerals at the top of the teeth.
You might want to talk to your dentist about having an in office treatment, but if you don’t have the budget, there are some ways that you can help to keep your whitening routine safe.
For starters, see your dentist and get checked before you add the strips. If there is decay on any of your teeth, the whitening products can sink into the teeth and damage nerves, causing extreme pain and damage. You should only use them once or twice a year as your dentist advises.
You can also minimize your risk for damage by following the directions on the box, and only choose whitening products that have an FDA seal. Also, be careful how white you take your teeth. They should only be the same shade as the whites of your eyes. Taking your teeth too light can make them look chalky. You want them to stay shiny and healthy looking.
The bottom line when it comes to teeth whitening is to start by maintaining a healthy oral care routine. Brush twice a day and floss at least once daily, and make sure to see your dentist every six months to keep your pearly whites looking healthy. Then, when you have a healthy smile, you can decide how to make your smile brighter, and keep it healthy.