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Teeth Whitening Products: Are These Safe?

Teeth Whitening Products: Are These Safe? | Cosmetic Dentistry in Dallas

According to a report from the American Association of Orthodontists, about 90% of practitioners claimed that the vast majority of their patients requested teeth whitening procedures in 2012. Similarly, a survey by the AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) found that the most common answer to the question “What would you most like to improve about your smile?” was whiter and brighter teeth.

These statistics might justify, for the most part, the increase in teeth whitening products presently available. As a result, the American Dental Association monitored the market’s development to establish the best and safest criteria for teeth whitening. According to their report, patients can get their teeth whitened in two ways:

  • Bleaching the tooth, which would imply changing the natural color of the tooth;
  • Using other agents that can help remove surface stains only.

While the ADA recommends using a whitening product only after a dentist consultation, it is vital for patients who already present some form of dental problem (crowns, fillings, or dark stains) to ask for a professional opinion, especially regarding bleaching products.

Here’s what you need to know before scheduling your appointment with a cosmetic dentistry professional in Dallas.

Understanding Whitening Products

The American Association of Orthodontists compiled the following tooth whitening methods:

  • Whitening Toothpaste: These products contain more amounts of detergents than a normal toothpaste and can remove tough stains. They lack bleach but might have traces of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Over the counter Whitening Strips and Gels: They have traces of peroxide and have different usage instructions from product to product.
  • Whitening Rinses: These products contain hydrogen peroxide or other oxygen sources.

A research paper published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice found that whitening products are “safe and effective” as long as users follow the instructions correctly. The study primarily focused on products using bleaching as a method to whiten the teeth, as they are the ones most likely to cause certain side effects.

Possible Reactions to Whitening Products

The most commonly cited side effects to dental whitening products are tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation. It is impossible to say for sure the degree a patient might experience these symptoms, as it depends on the amount of bleach present in the product and its concentration. Other influencing factors include the duration of the treatment as well as the non-bleach substances present in the product.

Some patients experience tooth sensitivity while they are administering the whitening treatment. However, the sensation might last for a few days. Similarly, gingival irritation may occur shortly after using the product, and will only last for a few days as well.

Serious side effects such as tooth degradation or erosion happen only if the product is not used correctly, or if the individual has previous dental issues.

Choosing the Right Product

Though scientific literature points out that whitening products are safe and do not damage the tooth as long as they are used correctly, it also indicates that their effectiveness can vary.

Most products can lighten the color by 1-2 shades, but it is vital to seek a professional opinion when choosing the right treatment.

If you’re looking for cosmetic dentistry services in Dallas, Dr. Sarah Kong has the expertise and tools to give you the smile you always wanted. Schedule an appointment today and let us take care of all your oral health needs.