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The Risks Of At-Home Teeth Whitening

The Risks Of At-Home Teeth Whitening

Stained teeth can cause a person to feel self-conscious about their appearance and make them want to hide their smile. To combat this, many people turn to teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is a great solution to brighten the smile and prevent self-consciousness, but not everyone goes about it the right way. While teeth whitening can help a person feel better about showing off their teeth, at-home teeth whitening products can be hurting your smile more than helping it. Because at-home teeth whitening products are not as effective as the teeth whitening you would receive from a dentist, people tend to use them too frequently and cause damage to the teeth. This damage can lead to serious degradation of the teeth, but it can also lead to disappointing results. If you are considering teeth whitening options, be aware of the risks of at-home teeth whitening products.

5 Risks Of At-Home Teeth Whitening

1. Gum Irritation
The peroxide in some at-home tooth whitening products can irritate the gums and some UV at-home whitening kits can also damage the soft tissue. Since at-home products are not being administered by professionals, there is greater room for error and many people accidentally get the bleaching product on their gums. But this exposure of the gums to peroxide is not all user error; at-home teeth whitening products cannot be made customizable and therefore need to be designed to fit the general public. This leads to ill-fitting whitening products that are more likely to get peroxide where it is not meant to be.

2. Loss Of Tooth Enamel
Tooth enamel is the thin outer covering of the tooth. This tough shell helps to protect your teeth from decay and subsequent tooth pain. While enamel is typically hard to break, it can become eroded through the frequent use of at-home teeth whitening, making your teeth more susceptible to decay. Many people overuse their teeth whitening products since they do not create an as noticeable result as professional teeth whitening, and this over-use leads to a greater degree of enamel erosion.

3. Increased Tooth Sensitivity
Some whitening products will make your tooth enamel more permeable and expose the dentin, which is the layer of the tooth that separates the enamel from the innermost section of the tooth filled with nerves. Exposed dentin makes your teeth sensitive to hot and cold temperatures that can cause pain or discomfort. As enamel is eroded, the teeth will continue to become more sensitive to temperature.

4. Uneven Whitening
While this risk may not be as serious to the health of your teeth, it defeats the whole purpose of tooth whitening. When teeth are not whitened evenly, there will be patches with stains and other areas that are brighter and stand out, making the staining more obvious. At-home tooth whitening is far more likely to lead to uneven whitening since most at-home products don’t get between the teeth or they don’t properly fit. There is also far more room for user error, as the average person is not trained to whiten teeth and may also struggle to see what they are doing in their own mouth.

5. Wasting Time And Money
While some over-the-counter products may help to brighten teeth if used correctly, they will not get the teeth as white as an in-office whitening dental service. Some people may try to use products promoted as natural teeth whiteners so as to avoid the use of peroxide, but many natural teeth whitening solutions such as activated charcoal and turmeric have no support for the claim that they whiten teeth. Turmeric can actually cause further staining due to its bright pigment.

Professional Teeth Whitening Dental Services In Calgary

Teeth whitening can help you smile with confidence, but only if it is safe and effective. Cosmetic dentistry should never compromise your tooth health. To get a beautifully radiant smile without the risks of damaging your teeth or gums while also ensuring evenly white teeth, schedule a consultation with a Calgary dentist at Marlborough Dental. Our dentists are highly experienced with all forms of cosmetic dentistry including teeth whitening and we can help you quickly and effectively get the pearly whites you desire. To get instantly whiter teeth that will last, call Marlborough Dental Centre in NE Calgary at 1-403-248-2066 or fill out the online contact form to book your appointment.


Q: Is teeth whitening bad for your teeth?
A: While at-home teeth whitening can put your tooth and gum health at risk, professional teeth whitening is completely safe. The teeth whitening treatments are more effective in one round and therefore eliminate the need for frequent whitening that can negatively impact the teeth. There is also less room for error, as the in-office teeth whitening is performed by a trained dental services specialist.

Q: How long is a teeth whitening procedure?
A: A professional teeth whitening treatment performed by your dentist will take anywhere from 60 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the products your dentist uses and your individual whitening needs. Your individual whitening needs will be based on how good your dental hygiene is and how white you would like your smile to be.

Q: How can I take care of my teeth after my whitening treatment?
A: After your teeth have been professionally whitened, you should employ some methods to keep your teeth as white as they can be. Here are some things you can do to keep your teeth whiter:

  • Avoid food and drinks that can stain your teeth
  • Brush, floss, and use mouthwash twice a day
  • Visit your dentist every six months
  • Don’t smoke
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Visit your dentist for touch up appointments
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