For those who genuinely care about their own health and wellbeing, there is one very important and obvious question when it comes to tooth whitening:
Is whitening bad for your teeth?
The simple fact of the matter is that for the vast majority of people, time and lifestyle habits lead to teeth slowly but surely becoming something of a faint yellow colour. Most of this has to do with the natural ageing process and is nothing to worry about. But at the same time, anyone who uses tobacco, drinks red wine or doesn’t have the most outstanding oral hygiene standards is inherently more likely to face tooth discoloration.
Right now, there are so many different options available to those interested in whitening their teeth that anyone wishing to do so can…and for a relatively low price. Specific reasons why any given individual may wish to whiten their teeth vary, though for the most part tend to follow similar patterns – all with a focus on personal appearance. There may be no specific need to whiten teeth for health purposes, but confidence in physical appearance can have a marked impact on overall wellbeing. So given the way in which tooth whitening these days is so easy and commonplace, it’s hardly surprising that so many people are doing it.
Nevertheless, this still doesn’t answer the question as to whether or not doing so is good or bad for your teeth.
Tooth Whitening Methods
The answer, for the most part, comes down to a combination of the tooth whitening methods chosen and the condition of the teeth of the individual in question.
In terms of tooth whitening methods, there are countless options available ranging from the weird to the downright wonderful. Just a few examples include:
- Professional Treatments. These are whitening treatments carried out by dental professionals and therefore under the constant supervision and advice of dental professionals.
- Recommended Treatments. Alternatively, you can ask your dentist to point you in the direction of the very best products available for your own unique requirements, in order to ensure that you choose sensibly.
- Home Kits. Home tooth whitening kits are available in a wide variety of forms, which contain everything from ready-to-use strips to peroxide gels to LED lights and more.
- Everyday Hygiene. There’s certainly no shortage of whitening products available in pretty much every supermarket across the land, including toothpastes, toothbrushes, dental floss, mouthwash and so on.
- Dietary Exclusions. While making changes to your diet may not do a great deal to remove existing stains, it could certainly help prevent additional stains setting in by minimising intake of things like coffee and red wine.
Whitening at the Dentist’s Office
For obvious reasons, the single safest and most effective approach to whitening your teeth is that of heading out to the office of a dental professional and having them take care of things on your behalf. If it is safe to go ahead with any given whitening treatment, they will do so in a manner that is comprehensively safe. If it turns out that your teeth or oral health in general disqualify you from any given treatment, they will ensure you are kept out of harm’s way. The same also applies to a lesser extent to the process whereby advice is sought from a dental professional, in order to pinpoint the most effective tooth whitening kit for DIY application. The only difference being that in this instance, it is up to you whether or not you choose to listen to the information and advice provided.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whiteners
By a pretty enormous margin, the most popular and affordable teeth whitening systems are those that can be picked up from thousands of high street stores. Both quality and pricing range from the sublime to the ridiculous, though some of these kits are indeed able to produce genuinely outstanding results. However, it will be up to you and you alone to determine which represents the best kit for your needs, while the same time keeping your own health and wellbeing in-mind. The vast majority of high quality tooth whitening kits on the market these days are designed to be as comprehensively safe as possible. There will, however, always be exceptions to the rule.
So…Is It Safe?
If you’ve started to get the feeling that we are skirting the issue, this really isn’t the case at all. Instead, we think it is important to lay out the tooth whitening landscape as a whole, before discussing overall safety.
So here it is – if you entrust a dental professional with the whitening process, the answer is yes…it is completely safe and there’s nothing to worry about. Likewise, if you follow the instructions of a dental professional to the letter in terms of which products to use and how exactly to use them, you can once again whiten your teeth in total confidence.
When it comes to standard DIY tooth whitening kits on the other hand, safety is determined by one thing and one thing alone…you. For example, if you settle for the cheapest, dodgiest products on the market from a brand you have never heard of, there’s a pretty good chance whatever is in there could harm your teeth. Likewise, if you choose a premium brand but choose to proceed in a manner that contravenes the instructions, you could end up doing more harm than good. Be it leaving the stuff on too long, using it too often or anything else of a similar nature, if it isn’t laid out in the instructions, it is something you shouldn’t be doing.
Combining two or more tooth whitening kits to try and intensify the effects is also a bad idea, as is using any kind of harsh whitening products if your teeth and/or mouth are not in the absolute peak of health.
So while it may come across as a disconcertingly vague answer, tooth whitening is indeed safe…just as long as you do it right!