Teeth Whitening: Can Teeth Be Too White?

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Teeth Whitening: Can Teeth Be Too White?

That pearly-white smile you always dreamed of is now easier than ever to achieve with both over the counter and professionally-done teeth whitening services. However, is there such a thing as teeth being too white? The answer is yes, and the reasons dentists recommend professional teeth whitening services exclusively is because the ingredients used can potentially be harmful to both your teeth and your gums.

Anyone whose whitened their teeth before knows it is unexpectedly painful, yet are willing to look past it in order to get the smile they’ve dreamed of. The sensitivity in teeth whitening occurs due to the fact peroxide must penetrate the tooth structure and oxidize the colored compounds in the dentin. Fortunately, there are tricks to minimize the sensitivity of teeth whitening. An example is toothpaste specifically made for sensitive teeth (e.g.: Sensodyne) which may be used before, during, and shortly after using a whitening application. In addition to switching toothpastes to one targeted for sensitive teeth and gums, other prevention methods are limiting exposure to extreme temperatures, such as that of a hot or iced beverage, and shortening the daily application time of the whitening product. For a majority of people, adopting these prevention measures and putting up with a few days of sensitivity is worth the benefits of a bright, shining smile!

Like with any cosmetic treatment or procedure, some people become obsessed and even addicted to whitening their teeth. In this case, yes, there is such a thing as too white. While dentists agree there are no long-term negative effects of teeth whitening, overuse and improper application can lead to the teeth looking overbleached and unnatural as well as causing long-term dental issues. If a whitening application is applied too frequently, the protective enamel becomes weakened and oversensitive, causing teeth to crumble. So while there is no harm in getting the gorgeous white smile you always wanted, the overuse of bleaching agents may lead to more serious dental issues down the road. As always, be safe, be happy, and smile bright, because there is no reason not to if that’s what you choose!

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