Ask the Dentist: Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Have you been unhappy with your smile? Perhaps you’ve noticed it appears yellowish in photos. Or maybe you have an important event coming up and you’d like your smile to look brighter and more youthful. If so, you’re not alone: A recent study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry revealed that when asked “What would you like to improve most about your smile?” the most common answer was “whiter and brighter teeth.”
Many dental patients would like to enjoy a whiter, brighter smile, but may hold back out of uncertainty. There are many teeth whitening options out there – but the question arises: Is teeth whitening safe? And if so, which option is best for your smile?
Is teeth whitening safe?
According to the American Dental Association, whitening is safe, but it’s best to discuss with your dentist first. “The ADA recommends that if you choose to use a bleaching product, you should only do so after consultation with a dentist. This is especially important for patients with many fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains. A thorough oral examination, performed by a licensed dentist, is essential to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment.”
There are several different whitening methods available:
- In-office professional whitening: In-office whitening is the fastest, most effective option, offering stunning results in as little as one visit.
- Take-home trays and bleaching solutions: A take-home system from your dentist is another effective option. Custom-fitted trays fit properly, protecting your gums from the bleaching solution and lessening the likelihood of sensitivity.
- Over the counter whitening: Over the counter products, such as whitening strips, whitening toothpaste, and brush-on gels are generally regarded as safe for most smiles. However, it’s best to discuss these with your dentist before use.
Questions to ask your dentist before whitening
“What is the cause of my discoloration?” Often, tooth discoloration is the result of things such as smoking, aging, or drinking coffee. However, there may be underlying issues that could be to blame, including decay or other problems. If this is the case, the root issues need to be corrected so your smile is healthy for whitening.
“Will whitening be effective on my current dental work?” Bleaching solutions don’t have an effect on composite materials, so if you’ve had crowns, bonding, or other restorations, whitening the surrounding natural teeth could result in a mismatched smile.
“Which whitening option is best for me?” Your dentist is in the best position to evaluate which form of whitening will be most successful for your unique situation, desires, and budget.
In conclusion, teeth whitening is a safe, effective solution for a more attractive and youthful smile! However, it’s best to talk candidly with your dentist about the options available as well as your smile goals before choosing which whitening solution is best for you.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Re-posted with permission. Source.