Are Teeth Whitening Strips Harmful to my Teeth?
If you’re not happy with the color of your teeth, it can make you feel self-conscious. Fortunately, discolored teeth aren’t something you have to live with. Different products can help whiten your teeth, but they should be used with care.
How do teeth become discolored?
Teeth can become discolored for reasons that include the following:
- Age: Tooth enamel gets thinner as you age, allowing dentin (hard, bony tissue) to show through.
- Food and drink stains: Coffee, wine, colas, and other dark foods and drinks can cause stains.
- Medication: Stains may result if you used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger or your mother used them during the second half of pregnancy.
- Smoking: Smoking can give teeth a yellow tint.
What are whitening strips and how do they work?
Teeth whitening strips are plastic strips that adhere to your teeth and utilize peroxide or bleach to help whiten them. The amount of peroxide or bleach can vary according to the type of strip. The bleach or peroxide removes color from your teeth to help restore their natural white color.
What do you need to know before using whitening strips?
Before using whitening strips, you should talk to your dentist about your options. The most effective treatments are available from your dentist, and you’ll need to have a mouth exam and teeth cleaning before using whitening strips. That’s because your teeth and gums need to be healthy so you won’t worsen any pre-existing problems.
If you’d like to use teeth whitening strips, your dentist can give you information about the following:
- The best strength to use: usually 10% peroxide
- When to avoid using them: if you’re pregnant or nursing, for example, or if you have crowns, bonding, or veneers
- Side effects to watch out for: including irritated gums or tooth sensitivity
What are the possible dangers of teeth whitening strips?
Teeth whitening strips can cause the following issues:
- Damage: making your teeth porous and causing their surface enamel to break down
- Irritation: stressing the surfaces of your teeth and irritating the surrounding gums
What types of teeth whitening do dentists use?
The teeth whitening system used can vary from one dentist to another. Dental365 uses the highly effective tray whitening systems that follow a two-step process. First, your dentist will make a custom impression of your teeth to ensure that your whitening trays fit well. You’ll be given your custom tray as well as whitening gel to take home.
At home, you’ll put a small amount of gel into the trays and wear them for a specified amount of time – usually 15-30 minutes per day.
What advantages do tray teeth whitening systems offer?
- Greater safety and more predictable results: since you’re under a dentist’s care
- Comfort: custom trays fit well and help avoid irritation
- Ease of use: trays can be reused
- Quick: results can be seen within a week
- Effective: usually makes your smile 4 to 8 shades whiter
- Quick and painless: only a few minutes a day is required
If you’d like to find out more about whether teeth whitening can help you achieve a brighter smile, call or come by a Dental365 office in NYC today. We have convenient locations throughout the metro NYC area and also are open seven days a week with extended business hours on weekdays for your convenience.