Does Whitening Damage Your Teeth?
The teeth are important assets in the human body. You need healthy and strong teeth to properly chew your food. With use, you will discover that your teeth get discolored or stained over time. This is true regardless of how much or how many times you brush them.
The biggest culprits to teeth staining include consumption of salty water, soft drinks like coke, coffee, and tea, smoking, or drinking wine. Whatever the cause, you would most probably want to have your teeth as clean and white as possible. This is where the question of teeth whitening comes in.
Yes, whitening makes your teeth look brighter and sparkling clean, but does it have any harmful effects? This is the question the topic is addressing. Here are some facts about teeth whitening you need to know.
1. The Enamel Cannot Dissolve in Whitening Solution
The outer surface of the human tooth is made up of enamel. You will be surprised that the enamel that protects the tooth is the toughest part of the human body. But the stain you see on your teeth are not on the enamel, but in the dentine, the region below the enamel that has more blood vessels and tissues.
When whitening your teeth, the dentist uses a whitening gel or a solution that contains (in the larger composition) Hydrogen Peroxide. Your enamel will not dissolve in the substance, and the whitening will only be effective after the gel or solution penetrates through the tiny openings (tubules) on the enamel to the dentine.
Once H₂O₂ enters the body, it breaks down to form water and urea. Neither of these substances are harmful to your teeth or the body.
If your teeth are infected and the stains are due to damaged dentin, you need to take care of your oral hygiene and your dentist may need to make treatments available for you. That might also include oral airway to ease the process. This will save your tooth from getting complete damage that infections cause.
2. You May Experience Pain or Sensitivity
In case you have sensitive teeth, you may feel pain when you are using teeth whitening products. But you should not be worried because the pain is temporary and will go away soon after you stop using the products.
In some people, especially younger ones, the use of teeth whitening solutions may cause sensitivity. The reason is that as the substance penetrates through the tubules, it clears anything on the way as it cleans and whitens the dentin.
After you have finished using the whitening substances, the tubules remain exposed. The condition is what they call dehydration. As they are sensitive parts leading to the part of the tooth with more vessels, you may feel some sort of pain for a short period.
You need not do anything as the tubules will fill up automatically with organic material from your saliva and prevent exposure—a process called rehydration. Finally, the pain on your teeth will stop, and you will remain with whiter teeth.
3. Long-term Use of Whitening Products is Harmless
Some people may think that whitening their teeth for a long period of time may cause the teeth to be loose or weak. But Dr. Edmond Hewlett, a professor at the University of California, says that when the dentists use the whitening kits properly, it is hard for them to cause any harm to the patients.
According to the doctor, brushing your teeth vigorously in an attempt to make them cleaner and white can be dangerous. Scrubbing your teeth too much or too often could damage the gums, cause ruts on the teeth, and damage the structure of your teeth. The damaged teeth might get infected by cavities which require sedation dentistry treatment.
Many people tend to have an obsession for or “addiction” to white teeth. However, it is not a must for your teeth to be white to prove that they are healthy. Whitening your teeth adds beauty while the day-to-day care protects your teeth and mouth from infections. In the doctor’s statement, natural teeth are not pure white.
While whitening of teeth makes your smile amazing, you need to take care not to stain your teeth soon. Maintaining white teeth is a common problem for many people. You will realize that the effectiveness of whitening is temporary unless you know how to maintain the whiteness.
The first precaution you need to take after using whitening strips is to avoid taking colored drinks that will stain the dentine before the tubules close up. Reducing the amount and frequency of taking colored drinks and smoking is the ideal way to ensure that your teeth remain white for a long time.
Now that you are aware that whitening teeth is harmless, I know you are about to jump to the next chemist to get teeth whitening strips. But it is ideal to get the attention of your dentist regarding this matter. He will examine your teeth to ensure that the stain is not as a result of tooth decay or cavities. He will also advise on the right choice of whitener you need for your teeth.