Whether your morning coffee has left your teeth looking dingy or you’re just wishing your smile could be brighter, teeth whitening could be a good solution. But if you’re exploring teeth whitening options, you may be wondering, “is teeth whitening safe?”
With so many teeth whitening products on the market – from at-home teeth whitening solutions to professional teeth whitening services in your local dentist office – it can be overwhelming to determine the best solution for your smile, and whether or not teeth whitening can harm your teeth.
The good news is that as long as teeth whitening is done correctly – using safe products – it can be a simple, painless way to improve your smile and boost your confidence.
At College Family Dentistry in Baton Rouge, Dr. Seth O’Shee said it’s important to talk to your dentist about what products they recommend as safe for your enamel, gums and overall oral health.
So, what are the options for safe teeth whitening? Keep reading for dentist-recommended solutions.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
From whitening strips you can buy at the grocery store to custom whitening trays and in-office professional whitening solutions, there are so many ways to whiten teeth. But if you’re wondering, “is teeth whitening safe?,” it’s important to explore which options may be healthiest for your teeth.
“DIY whitening can be dangerous if the method is not recognized by your dental professional,” said Dr. O’Shee of College Family Dentistry, a dentist offering professional teeth whitening in Baton Rouge.
O’Shee said that avoiding teeth whitening methods that use abrasive, such as charcoal or baking soda, is a simple way to ensure that at-home teeth whitening does not damage your enamel or cause other dental problems.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) if you avoid potentially damaging ingredients, the most common side effects of teeth whitening are temporary tooth sensitivity and gum inflammation, according to the ADA.
Still, while teeth whitening is generally safe for most patients, there are some times when teeth whitening may not be recommended.
For example, is teeth whitening safe during pregnancy? Dr. O’Shee said that at College Family Dentistry, they recommend waiting for whitening until after pregnancy due to the increased inflammation of the gums typically experienced during pregnancy.
Teeth whitening may also not be recommended for patients with sensitive teeth, or patients with composite fillings that can be viewed when smiling, since composite fillings generally aren’t whitened by teeth whitening products.
Ready to explore some of the safest and most effective ways to whiten teeth? Keep reading to learn more about various teeth whitening methods.
Safe Ways to Whiten Teeth
When it comes to safety and effectiveness, not all teeth whitening products are created equal.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Solutions
Whitening Strips: There are many options for at-home teeth whitening strips available today. Teeth whitening strips are typically peroxide-based and may also contain safe whitening ingredients such as carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. While these products can be effective, over-the-counter whitening strips typically contain lower concentrations of teeth whitening ingredients than professional teeth whitening strips provided by a dentist.
Whitening Toothpaste: Whitening toothpastes are another option for at-home teeth whitening. These typically rely on abrasives to remove surface stains. Some do also contain low levels of hydrogen peroxide to lighten tooth color over time. According to the ADA, tooth whitening toothpastes are generally less effective than whitening strips. If you’re shopping for a whitening toothpaste, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure all ingredients are safe for enamel and gums.
Whitening Trays: At-home whitening trays and bleaching gel are another common over-the-counter teeth whitening solution that can be safe for teeth. These products are typically peroxide-based and should not cause adverse effects aside from potential tooth sensitivity and gum inflammation. Trays may be less convenient than whitening strips, since they cannot be used as easily on-the-go.
Professional Teeth Whitening Solutions
Custom Whitening Trays: Much like at-home whitening trays, professional teeth whitening trays provided by a dentist typically use peroxide-based whitening gel placed in trays. Unlike over-the-counter solutions, though, these trays are often custom-fit by your dentist to ensure proper fit and more effective whitening.
Professional Grade Whitening Strips: If you’re seeing a dentist for professional teeth whitening, they may provide professional-grade teeth whitening strips for use at home. Dentist-provided strips typically contain the same ingredients as over-the-counter whitening strips but in higher concentrations, offering better results more quickly.
Light-Activated Whitening: Professional teeth whitening solutions provided by a dentist may include the use of trays or other application of a peroxide-based whitening gel use with a light that accelerates and enhances the bleaching process. Other dentists may use a process called “power bleaching,” which uses concentrated solutions of hydrogen peroxide in water and may also include light activation.
In many cases, professional teeth whitening actually takes on many forms and involves working with you and your dentist to create a teeth whitening system that brightens your smile and helps maintain whiter teeth long-term. College Family Dentistry offers our Whitening for Life program. As long as you keep up with your six month cleanings, you go home with a free take-home whitening kit!
How Professional Teeth Whitening Works
If you’ve answered the question, “is teeth whitening safe?” and are looking to get started with professional teeth whitening in Baton Rouge or wherever you live, it’s important to understand how teeth whitening with a dentist works.
While every dental practice is different and may use different teeth whitening methods, professional teeth whitening generally involves the same basic steps.
At the start of your treatment, your dentist will likely use a strong, effective whitening solution to help you get initial results quickly. The use of light-activated whitening, for example, is common at this stage.
Many dentists will also provide at-home whitening products you can use in between in-office treatments to continue to whiten your teeth and maintain your brighter smile. These may include professional-grade teeth whitening strips or custom whitening trays.
At College Family Dentistry in Baton Rouge, for example, teeth whitening patients who sign up for our Whitening for Life program receive a box of whitening strips at sign up, and a new box of whitening strips at each checkup appointment.
This is a great way to incorporate regular teeth whitening with your regular dental check-ups, improving the look of your smile and your overall oral health.
Get Started with Professional Teeth Whitening
Are you stop wondering, “is teeth whitening safe?” and start working with your dentist on professional teeth whitening? Search for professional teeth whitening near you today or talk to your regular dentist to learn more about their teeth whitening solutions.
If you’re local to Baton Rouge, teeth whitening solutions are available at College Family Dentistry. Contact our Baton Rouge dental office today to learn more about our “Whitening For Life” professional teeth whitening program and our other Baton Rouge teeth whitening services.