Ruler straight and pearly white teeth are king in the United States. We see these kinds of magnificent chompers on celebrities and famous musicians, and for some people it can mean the difference between landing a job or getting passed over. While this is not entirely fair, many people are understandably succumbing to pressure and seeking over-the-counter whitening products to try to whiten their teeth with less cost. Whitening is usually a procedure reserved for the dental office, so what kind of risk are you putting your teeth through by using these products at home?

teeth whitening, before and after

Sensitivity

There are many products that claim to protect the enamel of your teeth, but it is important to remember that you are using a bleaching agent to whiten your teeth. Generally speaking, over-the-counter bleaching products are safe, if you follow all directions properly and consult with a dentist first and throughout your treatment. It can take longer to whiten your teeth than visiting the dentist. This prolonged exposure to the bleaching agent can wear down your enamel, irritate your gums, and potentially cause damage to previous dental work. If you do decide to try teeth whitening at home, then you should be watching for tooth sensitivity. If changes in temperature leave your teeth in pain, then you should stop the over the counter treatment immediately as you may have damaged your enamel. This risk increases if you are exceeding the recommended usage for a whitening product or are combining multiple whitening agents.

The Benefits of Seeing a Dentist

Given the potential risks of over the counter whitening products it is important to consider going to a dentist for your teeth whitening needs. In addition to ensuring that your enamel will be safe during the whitening procedure, a dentist will be able to look for other issues such as tooth decay or gum disease and look at other options such as veneers or crowns if whitening alone will not alleviate your issue.

If you are located near Altamonte Springs and have any questions about teeth whitening, or would like to schedule an appointment, please give cosmetic dentist Michael L. Weinstock DDS a call at (407) 834-6446.