Ensuring healthy teeth following good oral hygiene yields to an overall healthy body. Along with proper tooth brushing (twice a day), daily flossing and cleansing your tongue, it is also important to make the necessary dietary adjustments. Ensuring you’re keeping up with regular dental appointments comes secondary. .
Teeth whitening has become one of the most frequently requested dental procedures by the people when it comes to oral hygiene. With the urge and demand of whiter and perfect smiles the approachable choices for tooth whitening have been made available. Teeth whitening includes home-based products such as toothpastes, gels, and films, as well as in-office based systems where products containing highly concentrated bleaching agents are applied under professional supervision which are called the dental experts/doctors. However, people have been versed with certain risks that comes clinging to teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening are treatments designed to reduce stains, yellow appearance of your teeth. It’s a boon to modern dentistry. A conservative approach to make your teeth look whiter and brighter within no time. Albeit, no matter what type of tooth whitening procedure you use, it won’t last forever.
At home, products may give you minimal results which may last for a few weeks, whereas professional whitening treatments may last 6 months or a year. Here’s a quick glance of what you should keep in mind to protect your teeth if you very mostly visit your dental expert for teeth whitening.
In a candid conversation with Onlymyhealth, Dr. Rajesh Shetty, Founder, Dazzle Dental Clinic, Mumbai eludiates, "As a dental surgeon, I always recommend people to visit their dentist before using any kind of whitening products. This procedure uses a bleaching agent with the help of a light that helps in accelerating the bleaching agent."
"In case of an in-office teeth whitening, one can get the procedure done for a minimum of 3-4 times in a year. And, as far as home bleaching is concerned, one can get it done multiple times in a year." Dr. Rajesh adds.
Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
If you're thinking about whitening your teeth, rest assured that it's a very safe procedure. "Teeth whitening products don’t have any side effects and neither do they deteriorate your oral hygiene." says Dr. Rajesh Shetty. The only symptoms one may have from the products is the sensitivity of teeth which is reversible and stays for a week or so, thereby it is completely manageable by using sensitivity toothpastes and mouthwashes.
About 30% of the people who use whitening products experience some degree of tooth sensitivity or/and gum irritation during the course of their teeth bleaching treatments. There are some cases when a dentist may recommend that tooth bleaching should be avoided to protect the user from potential side effects.
Possible side effects of teeth whitening
Tooth Sensitivity and gingival irritation
You may notice that your teeth are sensitive during the whitening process and for a short period after the procedure. This is due to the exposure of the dentin layer during the whitening process.
Soft Tissue Irritation
Also known as a chemical burn, soft tissue irritation may occur if the whitening solution is exposed to the gum tissue during the whitening process.
Blanching and Minor Gum Irritation
Blanching is when the gums turn white and possibly even sting a little after a teeth whitening treatment. Blanching is normal and usually goes away in 5-20 minutes. Rinsing your mouth well and thorough is the key to avoid it
However, if you experience severe irritation or blistering, stop the treatment immediately. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water and consult your doctor. This may be a result of an allergic reaction or gum disease.
Some people have concentrated amounts of calcium in the enamel of their teeth, and this usually shows up as white spots or streaks on the teeth. These are most noticeable in children, but with time as people grow older, teeth get stained over time.
After a teeth whitening treatment, it is normal for tooth color to regress somewhat over time. Sometimes, a noticeable amount of color can return over the days following the treatment.
Damage to Tooth Enamel
Peroxide-based teeth whitening gels penetrate into the tooth enamel to lift stains within the dentin layer of the teeth. During a teeth whitening treatment, the enamel loses certain minerals and likewise can it be weakened ever so slightly.
A very small percentage of people experience an allergic reaction which feels itself as burning and blistering of the gums or lips after the teeth whitening procedure.
The Do's and Don'ts of Teeth Whitening
- 1. Practise good oral hygiene, before and after teeth whitening.
- 2. Do drink beverages with a straw when you must drink dark-colored beverages to prevent the liquid from touching your teeth and causing stains.
- 3. Use a gentle mouthwash after eating to rinse away food and debris that could cause staining.
- 4. Eat a healthy diet and drink enough water
- 5. Use sensitivity toothpaste in case of sensitivity after whitening
- 1. Don’t drink colored beverages such as red wine, coffee, cola or tea immediately after treatment, and continue to avoid them whenever possible to prevent staining.
- 2. Don’t eat pigment-intense foods for several weeks after whitening. Berries, dark chocolate, soy sauce and other foods with a dark color can leave residue that leads to staining
- 3. Don’t wear lipstick or colored gloss for at least one week after whitening treatment, as your teeth are still sensitive immediately after treatment.
- 4. Do not smoke or drink alcohol for a few weeks, to keep the whitening effect lasting
- 5. Do not use any whitening products without consulting your dentist
Even though we have a word from the very well that teeth whitening doesn't have any side effects and neither do they deteriorate your oral hygiene but excess of everything is bad. Henceforth, before you decide to whiten your teeth, it's best to consult with your dentist who will assess and examine your teeth to see if you're a good candidate for teeth whitening procedures and if they'll work on your particular discoloration.