A Cosmetic Dentist Talks about Why You Should Not Whiten Teeth at Home
Teeth whitening kits are available for purchase at supermarkets, pharmacies, and online, and many patients assume these kits are equivalent to the teeth whitening provided by a qualified cosmetic dentist. However, as professionals who have completed dental school as well as extensive training in shaping, whitening, and upgrading patients’ entire smiles, cosmetic dentists are able to provide affordable, high-quality whitening that is less likely to cause additional dental issues that could be easily avoided.
What problems can at-home whitening cause?
Though teeth whitening is a noninvasive dental procedure, at-home kits, even when used by the average healthy patient, can come with risks and side effects. Tooth sensitivity, adverse reactions to dubious ingredients, and a poorly done or inconsistent job of teeth whitening can result. Those with other dental or medical concerns could be at additional risk for developing adverse effects from at-home teeth whitening treatment. Unfortunately, some patients may not understand why seeking the help of a cosmetic dentist is a better decision than whitening at home.
Tooth and gum sensitivity and pain
Store-bought products may contain abrasive substances like hydrogen peroxide, which can be effective if used minimally, but in large doses can cause erosion of teeth’s enamel and shrinkage of the gums. If used over time and without the aid of a professional cosmetic dentist, this treatment could cause tooth sensitivity and at times pain. The worst part for these patients is that by affecting the enamel and causing teeth to become more sensitive overall, the teeth are then primed to become even more stained over time! If these patients then whiten again, they will simply start a cycle of stained teeth, sensitivity, and pain that cannot be easily broken.
Reactions to harmful or unknown ingredients
The most well-known teeth whitening kits, from brand names patients likely recognize, contain tested ingredients that are unlikely to cause long-term damage to patients’ teeth beyond tooth sensitivity. However, various places on the internet purport using substances as varied as coconut oil, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and even bleach to whiten teeth. Though some of these options may be harmless if ineffective, certain ingredients can be understandably dangerous for even the healthiest patients.
Why should a patient visit a cosmetic dentist for whitening?
Though teeth whitening is a cosmetic service a patient may try to perform at home, it can be compared to visiting a licensed cosmetologist to highlight hair. These professionals have trained specifically for this cosmetic procedure, so it is a better decision for patients, especially those who have additional medical concerns or other dental conditions, to visit a dentist instead of buying an over-the-counter whitening kit.
While many patients may consider at-home treatments to make their smiles brighter, for quick and effective teeth whitening, go to a qualified cosmetic dentist. Finding a licensed dentist to perform any cosmetic maintenance needs you may have will keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.
Request an appointment or call White Flint Family Dental at 301-273-1085 for an appointment in our Rockville office.
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