In the search for the perfect white smile, it is common to find tips and home remedies for teeth whitening with affordable products that can be found in a supermarket or that we always have in the pantry, but are there risks when performing teeth whitening with these methods? In this article we tell you about the dangers that these treatments can cause to your oral health.
Home teeth whitening: what methods are there?
Just one click on the Internet and typing in the search engine ”how to whiten teeth at home” will bring up a multitude of results with easy and accessible recommendations for everyone. The best known are:
The activated charcoal.
It consists of applying a black toothpaste with activated charcoal and with the same frequency as a usual toothpaste to achieve teeth whitening in a few days. It has become fashionable in recent years, especially among the most influential personalities of social networks that, let’s remember, are paid to promote these products without any scientific basis.
Using baking soda to whiten teeth at home is a classic. It is advised for its composition and texture, which works as an exfoliant of dental dirt, promising whiter shades after use. The truth is that it can cause serious damage if used frequently and its results are not proven.
Lemon juice as a dental rinse to achieve the desired whiteness is recommended as a harmless and very economical remedy, however, the acidity of lemon plays an abrasive rather than whitening role for teeth.
Who does not have hydrogen peroxide at home? This method for whitening teeth at home is also among the most known among the home tips on the internet. Brushing your teeth with hydrogen peroxide is really not recommended.
Possible negative consequences of home teeth whitening
The most famous home remedies that we have seen before, such as activated charcoal, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide or baking soda, are far from being healthy for the teeth and the only advantage they have is their accessibility. Among the consequences of having a treatment with these false whiteners we can find:
Tooth enamel abrasion.
In general, the aforementioned products have an aggressive composition for tooth enamel and their uncontrolled use can cause serious long-term damage . It is important to know that tooth enamel is the only tissue that does not reproduce, so its wear can be irreparable.
Burns on gums and mucous membranes
When performing a whitening treatment in a specialized dental clinic, protectors are placed on the gums to prevent burns to the soft parts of the mouth . Most often these protectors are not available at home and we can cause burns to the gums and mucous membranes by using these products of dubious safety.
To perform all these home treatments, it is inevitable to put the ingredients in the mouth and run the risk of accidentally ingesting them. Especially in the case of hydrogen peroxide, you can reach an intoxication in the body, causing gastrointestinal irritation .
Long-term yellowing of the teeth
By applying acid products on the teeth we get an opaque and apparently whiter surface. What really happens is that we have removed the layer of shine from the tooth and made it more porous, making it more susceptible to accumulate pigmentation from the foods we consume every day and which can lead to much yellower teeth in the long term.
If these home remedies are applied regularly and indiscriminately for teeth whitening, it can damage the dental tissue and cause premature aging due to wear and tear.
Increased tooth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity may appear after application of the products seen above. This is because acids have penetrated the enamel and dentin, reaching the nerve, resulting in pain and discomfort .
Darker teeth in the long term.
Damage to the enamel caused by practicing home whitening remedies can affect the color of the teeth, as the thinner the enamel layer, the more the dentin color shows through, resulting in a darker, unaesthetic appearance .
Some myths about non-professional treatments for teeth whitening
Are there really home recipes that can whiten teeth?
First of all, the substance used to whiten teeth is hydrogen peroxide, and in Europe it is forbidden to sell products with a composition of more than 0.1% because of the risk to health. This being so, it is difficult for us to achieve a recipe that achieves the results obtained in dental clinics, which can use products with a higher percentage.
And the products sold on the Internet, do they work, are they safe?
There are teeth whitening treatments that can be performed at home, but these must be endorsed by professional dentists who guide the process and explain all the guidelines to ensure an optimal and safe result for the patient.
There are toothpastes that promise to whiten your teeth. Is it true?
Currently there are whitening toothpastes that can manage to keep teeth whiter in the long term, but, because of their concentration in hydrogen peroxide, the results are much less noticeable than those that can be achieved with a dental whitening in a dental clinic .
Do you want to have whiter teeth? Then turn to the supervision of your dentist.
Dental whitening in a dental clinic is a safe method.
Dental clinics use products that comply with health regulations and protect the patient’s health above the result. In the case of teeth whitening, dentists place protectors on the gums and lips before applying the whitening gel.
A professional dentist is necessary to guide the treatment.
When we talk about health, and oral health is paramount, we should always go to a health professional to advise and study each case. Not all teeth are the same and not all cases need the same treatment. Going to a dentist for teeth whitening is essential if we want to avoid risks.
Benefits of having your teeth professionally whitened at a dental clinic.
Good for your oral health.
Going to a dental clinic to have a teeth whitening treatment is the best option if you want to achieve a white smile without harming the health of your teeth or damaging the enamel.
It is painless
Professional teeth whitening is completely painless, very fast and very simple.
It gets rid of teeth stains
Professional teeth whitening gets rid of tooth stains externally and internally.
Get a more aesthetic smile
A white smile is synonymous with health. With this treatment you get to bring brightness to the face and a better personal image.
An ally to rejuvenate your face
A teeth whitening treatment rejuvenates the face and achieves a much more aesthetic effect. By association, yellow and worn teeth age the features of the face, while a white smile manages to convey youth.
Good for your self-confidence.
Teeth are a very important part of the overall face. Having healthy white teeth improves self-esteem and self-confidence when it comes to exposing yourself to others.
Some cases in which teeth whitening is not recommended.
Although it is a treatment that provides solutions to many patients, there are some cases in which teeth whitening is not advisable:
In children under 13 years of age.
For this treatment all permanent teeth must be present (baby teeth must have fallen out).
In pregnant and breastfeeding women.
For prevention, and although the risk has not been scientifically determined, the use of hydrogen peroxide is discouraged in pregnant or nursing women.
If you suffer from dental hypersensitivity.
Dental hypersensitivity may be aggravated if you undergo tooth whitening.
If you have teeth with deep fissures.
To perform this treatment, fissures in the teeth or broken teeth must be treated first.
Other frequently asked questions
How long does the effect of teeth whitening last?
If optimal dental hygiene habits are followed, teeth whitening can last approximately 2 years.
Does whitening replace dental hygiene?
No, after whitening it is essential to continue with dental hygiene habits, especially if you want to maintain the results in the long term.
Can I have teeth whitening if I have tooth sensitivity?
Tooth whitening is inadvisable in these cases, as discomfort may be pronounced after treatment.
As we have seen, far from achieving whiter teeth, what we can achieve by using homemade products, is to make the teeth more vulnerable to the pigments found in the foods we eat every day. And not forgetting that the results of these ingredients in their use as teeth whiteners are not scientifically proven.
If you want to improve your smile, surround yourself with specialized dentists and do not take risks. In Medident you will find an expert team in teeth whitening treatments ready to advise and guide you throughout the process. Contact us without obligation and tell us about your case.