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Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Who doesn’t want a brighter, whiter smile that could hold its own against even the best mega-watt celebrity grin? Dozens of teeth whitening products are available in practically every store in America, not to mention all the options at your dentist’s office, but are they really safe?
Peroxide Bleaching Agents
Peroxide bleaching agents are whitening products that commonly use hydrogen peroxide as the active bleaching agent. While they are considered safe, they do have some side effects. Many people claim to have tooth sensitivity. Occasionally, this is accompanied by irritation of the soft tissue in the mouth, although this is usually because the bleaching tray doesn’t fit properly. In both cases, the side effects are often temporary and subside once treatment is complete. On rare occasions, irreversible tooth damage has been reported. These products should be used sparingly as there is not enough data to support safe usage over long periods of time.
Products for Use at Home
Teeth whitening products for home use are quite popular given how easy and private the treatment is. These products have received a Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association due to their safety. Products covered under this seal include gels that you use in conjunction with trays, paint-on whitening products and bleaching strips. It is important to remember that ingredients vary widely, so always read the box if you have sensitivities.
Products applied by your dentist usually use between 25 and 40 percent hydrogen peroxide because they are made to work within a couple of hours instead of over the course of weeks. Although they are sometimes used in conjunction with lights or lasers to heighten results, studies have shown no actual correlation between the lights and whiter teeth. Professional products involve methods to protect gum tissue from irritation. Professional products do not have a Seal of Acceptance because the ADA discontinued the professional component of the program in 2007.
Overall, teeth whitening products are considered effective and safe. You should always use them according to directions and consult with your dentist before trying a new treatment.
The practice’s primary dentist, Dr. Catherine Dulay Lichtenstein, began practicing dentistry in 2009. While getting her dental degree she was awarded the Dr. William Starek Award for outstanding achievement in endodontics and the Dr. Donald McElroy Endodontic award for extra work in endodontics and professional behavior. With her knowledge and experience, Dr. Catherine Dulay Lichtenstein, and the entire dental staff are dedicated to providing high-quality dental care to patients of all ages. The dental office is equipped with the most up-to-date dental equipment and staffed with experienced dental professionals in order to help your children learn the importance of proper dental hygiene. Call your local cosmetic dentist today!