Even the best whitening treatments are
only as good as the person using them. Preventing mishaps is a
mater of keeping a few simple tips in mind:
Start clean. Whitening
formulas take unevenly to dirty teeth. Tartar creates a
barrier that bleaching gel can not penetrate. If you don't
have a professional cleaning
first, you will end up with yellow halos anywhere you have buildup.
Be realistic. We all
have a limit to how white our teeth can be.
Know when to stop. Using kits
for longer than prescribed time won't yield whiter teeth, in fact it
may damage teeth. Over saturating the teeth with peroxide can
break down the dentin and gum tissues.
Don't drink and bleach. Red
wine, tea, coffee, soy sauce, & tobacco will color teeth.
Whitening with Over the Counter Products
Over the counter
bleaching kits, whitening salons, Internet sales of bleaching kits or mall based
whitening kits sales are allowing consumers to skimp on their oral health.
Since these products are classified as "cosmetics" there are
less stringent guidelines and the active ingredient is often not
even listed. Currently there is little data on their
Any process not supervised by
a dentist is inappropriate. Clinical studies show that home bleaching can:
irritation of oral mucosa.
ingestion of the bleaching
product due to ill
These are conditions only your dentist can help
you prevent, care for and manage.
Kits that include impression
materials for consumers to take their own impressions can lead to:
damage of fillings
not custom fitted to the margins of the gum
can not find exposed root surfaces,
leaky fillings, decay or cracks in your teeth leading to pain during
damage to crowns
poorly adapted trays
ineffective whitening results
damage to bridges
danger of gagging or aspirating
may contain citric or phosphoric
acid which is a concern
The infection control
ineffectiveness of taking impressions by these salons or mall businesses can lead
to spread of disease. Consumers are often give unwrapped, unsanitized
trays for fitting which are than taken back and tossed in a drawer full of trays
without sterilization until the correct tray size is found. No
sterilization, no gloves or correct technique are used to meet OSHA or CDC
***An Update on Tooth
Whitening, Woman Dentist Journal, pg 10-22, Jan/Feb 2003
AGD Impact March 2001
Is Teeth Whitening Addictive?
raises the question of “whitening addiction,” citing those who have a
narcissistic compulsion to maintain their youth by overuse of tooth
whitening products, both OTC and professional. Signs of whitening abuse
include people who seek to get their teeth to a "Clorox white” shade
until their teeth are almost transparent, yet do not seem to realize
their teeth are already white. It is unlikely that damage to the surface
of the tooth will be caused before the sensitivity occurs. He
cautions against bleaching for people under age 18 as there is greater
opportunity for hypersensitivity. Dentists need to partner with
patients to set realistic expectations and avoid overuse of whitening
February 06, 2008