Are you considering cosmetic tooth whitening but are worried about the procedure's safety? You're not alone! This is one of the most common questions we get here at Swansboro Family Dentistry. We'll take a look at tooth whitening and whether it's safe for everyone. We'll also explore some of the risks and side effects associated with tooth whitening to help you make an informed decision. So, is tooth whitening safe for everyone? Keep reading to find out!
What is tooth whitening, and how does it work?
The most common type of tooth whitening is called in-office bleaching. This method uses a light-activated gel that contains hydrogen peroxide, which penetrates the enamel to remove stains from your teeth. A dentist will apply this gel to your teeth with special trays or applicators before activating it with a bleach lamp. The results are immediate, but you'll need several visits for optimal results.
Another form of tooth whitening is at-home treatment kits, which may be available over-the-counter (OTC) or by prescription only, depending on what ingredients they contain and where you purchase them from. These products may use carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, or potassium nitrate.
Who should avoid tooth whitening procedures?
If you're concerned about tooth whitening, your dentist is the best person to ask. That said, there are a few groups of people who should avoid in-office and at-home bleaching procedures:
People with overly sensitive teeth or exposed root surfaces, as bleaching can make these conditions worse by irritating them. People taking certain medications such as antibiotics (such as doxycycline), anti-seizure drugs (such as phenytoin), and heart medication (such as amiodarone). Pregnant women should be aware that researchers don't know if it's safe for expectant mothers to undergo any dental treatment during pregnancy. Children younger than 16 years old because their teeth haven't finished developing yet, should also avoid whitening.
If you fall into one of these categories, don't fret! There are still plenty of ways to get your teeth whitened. Talk to us about other options that may be available to you.
What are the side effects of tooth whitening procedures?
Like any other dental treatment, tooth whitening comes with a few risks and side effects. In-office bleaching is generally considered safe, but there are some rare cases where people have experienced mild discomfort or irritation after the procedure. Some people may also experience increased tooth sensitivity for a short period after the treatment.
At-home whitening treatments can also cause minor side effects such as gum irritation, toothache, and a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity. It's essential to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully to avoid these problems.
Are there any long-term risks associated with tooth whitening procedures?
To date, there is no evidence that tooth whitening poses any long-term risks to your health. However, as with any other dental treatment, it's always best to speak to your dentist before undergoing a tooth whitening procedure.
So, is tooth whitening safe for everyone? The short answer is yes - but it's always best to talk to your dentist before undergoing any treatment. At Swansboro Family Dentistry, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about your oral health. So we're here to help! Call us at 910-421-3022 or request an appointment so we can take a look at your teeth and discuss the best treatment options for you.