A home teeth whitening kit is readily available at any supermarket or drug store for less than $30, but can these products actually harm your teeth? After all, many dentists who offer teeth whitening services emphasize the importance of professional oversight.
Common risks of home tooth whitening kits
According to Manhattan cosmetic dentist Dr. David Blaustein, who uses Zoom laser teeth whitening in his office, highlights a few possible concerns with over-the-counter teeth whitening products. “If you have undetected issues with your teeth like small cracks, cavities or gingivitis, even a low-intensity bleaching system can penetrate the tooth, causing severe pain.” He adds that he has seen patients who required root canals to fix the damage caused by home teeth bleaching kits.
To learn more about professional, laser whitening, go to http://www.chelseadentalaesthetics.com/cosmetic-dentistry/laser-whitening/.
Even patients with perfect tooth health may face other potential dangers of home teeth whitening:
- In some cases, uneven exposure creates noticeable white spots on the teeth.
- Bleaching solution may be swallowed if the tray fits in the mouth loosely, causing throat burning and digestive upset.
- Many people complain that these kits are messy.
“One of the biggest risks is disappointment with the final results,” says Dr. Blaustein. Tray systems offer a one-size-fits-all approach, as opposed to a custom fit by a dentist.
A safer alternative to teeth whitening at home
Cosmetic dentists offer a more powerful teeth whitening application that uses hydrogen peroxide in concentrations ranging from nine to 40 percent. The results are fast-acting and customized to the individual for the utmost in safety. Professional formulations are more efficient at removing tougher stains from nicotine, coffee, wine and tea.
Major discomfort from professional teeth whitening is extremely rare, although it is normal to experience some initial teeth sensitivity. “I tell patients to use toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth, and avoid extremely hot or cold food and beverages for the first few days unless a straw is used,” says Dr. Blaustein.
Laser teeth whitening: don’t try this at home!
Another increasingly popular alternative to home teeth whitening kits is laser whitening. The procedure includes a comprehensive examination and teeth cleaning, followed by the insertion of a soft tissue protecting mouth guard and laser light cleaning. Results are immediate and can produce teeth that are up to 10 shades lighter.
Zoom laser teeth whitening combines the best of both worlds with a 25% hydrogen peroxide gel that is activated by UV light to remove stains and discolorations in three 15-minute sessions. Patients who have had prior dental work like crowns and veneers can achieve a customized, uniform look that only a cosmetic dentist can deliver.