Posted on: 27 August 2015
A dazzling, white smile can easily be within your reach if you have stained or discolored teeth now more than ever, with various teeth whitening kits available at affordable prices. New technology and stricter regulations on whitening products have enabled bleaching practices to be safer and more effective. However, it is always important to remember that some over-the-counter whitening kits could have negative side effects on your teeth and gums.
Choosing the right tooth whitening products
Whitening gels and strips often contain bleaching agents that are corrosive. The most common tooth whiteners contain hydrogen or carbamide peroxide that can cause harmful effects such as mouth blistering and gum burning or irritation, tooth sensitivity and irritation to the skin and eyes. If you accidentally swallow these products, the corrosive chemicals they contain can also cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as burning of the intestinal walls.
Safer whitening alternatives
There are tooth whitening kits that do not contain corrosive agents and that are equally effective at brightening tooth enamel.
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can be an effective and fast way of removing mild staining caused by plaque buildup. The abrasive and non-corrosive nature of this compound makes it safe for whitening teeth without any negative side effects. However, you should limit tooth whitening with sodium bicarbonate to about once or twice a week, as it can wear off tooth enamel and cause mild sensitivity.
Commercially produced sodium bicarbonate based whitening kits are also readily available in the market as gels and chewing mints. These whiteners are very effective at whitening teeth that have been discolored by smoking or taking foods with a high coloring effect such as coffee, tea and wine. Non-peroxide products provide a good alternative to peroxide based bleaching agents.
Zero peroxide products typically comprise of a formulation gel made up of sodium bicarbonate, which is the primary whitening agent, and sodium fluoride which strengthens tooth enamel, preventing sensitivity and recurring staining.
The dangers involved in using the wrong tooth whitening product are real and can lead to serious dental problems. The best thing to do before attempting to whiten your teeth at home is to consult your dentist for an examination of your gums and teeth.
Cavities should be filled first, as they can increase the risk of sensitivity and damage to the inner tooth, while bleaching should be postponed if the gums are found to be inflamed.
For more information, contact Killar Curt DDS or a similar dental professional.Share