Teeth bleaching, also called teeth whitening, is a process that whitens natural teeth through the use of bleaching agents. Teeth whitening has become very popular in recent years with many over the counter bleaching systems on the market. In addition, many dental practices offer teeth bleaching to help their patients get a brighter, whiter smile.
For most patients, teeth bleaching is safe and done at home or in the comfort of your dentist’s office. In the past, some teeth whitening products used harsh abrasives that could harm the enamel of your teeth but modern tooth whitening products rarely cause any damage to your teeth and are safe to use except in a few circumstances.
If you have caps, veneers, composite fillings cosmetic restoration you may need to have them replaced to match the brighter color of your teeth. Tooth whitening products only work on natural teeth and your artificial teeth or restoration material will look darker than your brightened teeth.
Almost all teeth bleaching systems contain peroxide so if you are sensitive to peroxide, consult with your dentist. Also, if you have damage to your teeth or are suffering from gum disease the peroxide can make it more sensitive so it is best to have your dentist take care of any dental issues before you have your teeth whitened.
There is some concern about the effects of the peroxide mixing with cigarette smoke. If you are a smoker, consult with your dentist before you start a tooth whitening program. Also, there is no data that shows that teeth whitening with peroxide based products poses a health risk to pregnant or nursing women or their babies, but it is probably a good idea to wait to have your teeth whitened.
The most effective teeth whitening products are only available for application by a dentist or supplied by your dentist. For the safest, most effective teeth whitening procedure, see your dentist.
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