• 02 APR 18
    • 0

    Can DIY Teeth Whitening Systems Be Harming Your Teeth?

    teeth whitening

    Teeth whitening systems may not correct all types of discoloration and involve bleaching agents that, if not used correctly, can damage the enamel of your teeth. Enlist the help of Dr. Evanson when deciding to do anything that can alter your smile’s appearance.

    Why Whiten?

    Boosts your confidence and your smile by focusing on brightening your smile. If your teeth have yellowed over the years, turn back time with a tooth whitening procedure. Take the time to consult with Dr. Angela Evanson on the best method, or combination of treatments, that will work best for your smile.

    Don’t Cut Corners

    There are many products out there claiming to whiten your teeth at a fraction of the time or cost of professional methods. Buyer beware!  These products could permanently damage your teeth! Read on to learn about the risks of whitening your smile without professional guidance.

    Chemicals that Damage Tooth Enamel

    “Instant” whitening kits can cause irreparable damage to tooth enamel if used too often. Unlike professional teeth whitening systems, home kits often contain chlorine dioxide–the same acid used to disinfect swimming pools. Chlorine dioxide produces a white glow to your teeth, stripping the stains from the surface of the teeth. However, in this stripping process, tooth enamel isl often be removed as well.

    Hydrogen Peroxide and Your Gums

    While most home teeth whitening kits include hydrogen peroxide, some have more than 0.1%. If the chemical concentration is too strong, the whitening process can cause burns to the soft tissue of your gums and even irreversible gum recession. This tissue damage causes tooth sensitivity, while gum recession could expose the gum enough to cause tooth loss.

    Ill-fitting Mouthguards and Chemical Burns

    Mouth guards are often used with home teeth whitening kits to help the chemical gel from interacting with your mouth or skin. If the mouthguard doesn’t fit properly, chemicals could spill out and cause chemical burns to sensitive areas.  If these leaking chemicals are swallowed, they can also making your physically ill and can burn your throat, stomach and gut.

    Mouth Infections Following Chemical Burns

    Chemical burns also leave your gums and mouth at higher risk for infections. With vulnerable tissue and gums, bacteria can enter more easily.  

    Safe Options for Teeth Whitening

    While there are some real risks with DIY home whitening systems, there are products and methods that, when used correctly, are safe for home use. Consider the following:

    • Whitening Toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste contains an additional chemical that regular toothpastes lack–carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide for stronger whitening power.  Along with removing surface stains, these chemicals help to lighten the color deep within your teeth. What can you expect? Whitening toothpaste can lighten your teeth by about one shade.


    • Over-the-Counter Whitening Rinses.  Whitening rinses add freshness to your breath and reduce plaque that can lead to gum disease. Whitening rinses also include hydrogen peroxide for whitening the teeth. What to expect? It takes about 12 weeks of use before you see results. Expect one shade of lightening when you use a whitening rinse regularly.


    • Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips.  Whitening strips are a popular option these days for at-home teeth whitening. These strips are thin and flexible and each is coated with peroxide-based tooth whitening gel. By applying these strips directly to the front and back of your teeth–for about 30 minutes–you can see results after using the products for a few days. What to expect? Expect two to three shades of whitening with this method. Results last for about four months.


    • Over-the-Counter Whitening Trays. Whitening trays involve wearing a mouth guard-style appliance filled with a peroxide and bleach whitening gel. You can find these over-the-counter, which means you must boil the trays to form them to your teeth. The gel is equally as effective as whitening strip products. What to expect?Expect to lighten your teeth by two to three shades with this method.


    • Prescription-Grade At-Home Whitening Kits. Whitening trays are also available from your dentist. Evanson DDS offers BriteSmile® trays, which you fill with prescription-grade whitening gel for the most effective at-home treatment available today. The trays are custom-made for you at your office to ensure an accurate fit.  It’s up to you how long you wear the trays. While you should keep them in for no longer than four hours while you’re awake, it’s safe to wear the trays overnight for faster, more convenient whitening. In all, treatment takes one to two weeks and your teeth whiten by as much as seven shades. You can maintain your bright, white smile by wearing the trays overnight once every one to three months.


    • In-Office Whitening. Evanson DDS also offers an in-office tooth whitening option from BriteSmile®. Treatment involves using a gentle hydrogen-peroxide gel solution activated by a special light to whiten your entire smile by an average of seven shades in a single one-hour sitting. The results are instant, but if you want to enhance and maintain your bright smile, you can use at-home trays following in-office whitening.

    Call Dr. Evanson for a Tooth Whitening Consultation

    Would you like a brighter smile? Over-the-counter options are cheap, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Evanson DDS offers some of the best tooth whitening options available today from BriteSmile®. Our state-of-the-art office is outfitted with the right technology to deliver the results you’re hoping for. To schedule a free tooth whitening consultation, please call our Parker office at (720) 409-0008 today.

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