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Is Whitening your Teeth at Home Safe?

By Edited Jul 3, 2015 0 0






There are a lot of ways people try to increase the personal appeal and overall hygiene. Tooth whiting is one of those ways, preventing stains on your teeth and regular use of antiseptic mouthwash such as Listerine is the best way to prevent stains, but sometimes people still need a bit of extra help. Avoid soft drinks; the acid in sodas eats away at your enamel causing a dull appearance. Coffee consumption should also be limited; the color stains teeth over time, and is very difficult to remove. Smoking is the number one way to stain your teeth and damage you gums, not to mention the negative effect is has on your health.


Nowadays, everyone wants to have whiter looking teeth and to get rid of heavy stains.  But few consider the ramifications of using unprofessional at-home teeth whitening methods. It would be helpful to understand teeth whitening agents before blindly using them. Some of these products can have harmful side effects in the long run, while others can even make you sick if used too often.


At-home teeth whitening procedure strips can take off the outermost protective layer called enamel that normally surrounds a tooth. This will add additional stain formation due to development of cracks and increased roughness.  Improper teeth whitening processes causes more damage to the teeth besides whitening.  It is important to get any teeth whitening completed by a dental professional. It is safe and you can avoid the problems caused by teeth bleaching techniques at home.


A well-performed teeth whitening procedure by a dentist does not strip off enamel. It professionally whitens the teeth without causing damage. Your teeth with retain the healthy protective covering while also taking on the pearly shine you see in commercials.


Improperly used teeth whitening agents can cause unsightly looking dark teeth due to stripping the enamel. More pressure induced by brushing and abrasive agents will not bleach away the stains. Instead, the teeth become increasingly yellow and can become more sensitive.


Some people have a misconception that brushing with a hard bristle brush will help them get rid of stains. Expert dentists’ advise is to use a medium to soft bristle to retain your enamel layer and avoid harsh brushing.


Many people believe that the application of abrasives and harsh remedies can help remove stains. It is important to understand commercial dental abrasives can cause permanent damage to teeth. 


Professional teeth whitening procedures work directly on the teeth stains and do not interfere with the structure of the teeth. They clean the surface of stains and discoloration. Professional whitening agents are chemicals that effectively act on the target stain and localize it without causing any harm to the enamel of teeth. 


Mechanism of Stain Formation


The removal of deeply formed dark stains on the tooth surface is often a hard task. It requires teeth whitening procedures that can be performed by a dentist to lighten your teeth by 15 shades. The result depends on the type and duration of the stain formation.


Teeth stains can be viewed under a microscope to detect a honeycomb surface. This appearance is due to the seepage of stain through the enamel surface to the dentin surface of the tooth that finally reaches the system of tubes and gets trapped within the honeycomb structure. The stain then becomes a part of your tooth which is known as "intrinsic stain" that cannot be simply brushed off.


Development of an intrinsic stain happens over a period of time. The tubes in the honeycomb get plugged up with organic matter. You can experience teeth sensitivity to temperature variations particularly cold if the tubes are not opened.


Professional bleaching agents used in dental clinics mainly target the tubes and remove these plugs. They penetrate into the inner surface of your teeth without disrupting the quality of your enamel.


The active ingredient that is used in at-home teeth whitening products gradually loses its effectiveness within few days. The plugs return after a couple of weeks and the staining process becomes as usual which often requires further bleaching. It depends on the product you chose.


In general, professional teeth whitening procedures are completely safe and a simple cosmetic treatment that is affordable for everyone. Every individual should consult a dentist and obtain an opinion to confirm their teeth are healthy before starting with the teeth whitening procedure at home.


You must openly discuss with the dentist the specific product and techniques that are used for whitening. You must obtain an opinion regarding the usage of over the counter products or professional strength gels and high-tech lights that speed the process. You must take your dentist’s advice before buying any whitening toothpaste, gel or a product.


You can decrease the extent of stain formation by avoiding coffee, tea, smoking, soda and red wine as all these contribute to teeth discoloration. It is important to maintain a good dental hygiene with proper and regular brushing techniques twice a day to keep whiter teeth. Remember that obtaining whiter looking teeth will not guarantee that you are free from developing gum problems. 


Changing your life style on your intake of food and beverages can be helpful to maintaining whiter looking teeth. Expert dentists often recommend the usage of a straw to drink coffee, tea or other soft drinks as this can decrease the chances of teeth staining. It is a known fact that juices made of citrus fruits can often strip the enamel layer and increase the color of yellow to teeth. Following this simple advice may help you to manage white teeth. 


At-home whitening products are not as effective as teeth bleaching chemicals that are used by a dentist as these agents contain bleaching agent carbamide peroxide that has a lower strength. These products should only be used after asking a dentist’s opinion on at-home whitening products. You need to be aware that these products can cause an increase in teeth sensitivity and mild irritation of soft tissues in the oral cavity. It is always advised to get tobacco and food stains removed with regular teeth cleaning techniques.






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