Is Teeth Whitening Safe or Should You Avoid It Altogether?

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How safe is teeth whitening?

No one wants to have discolored teeth, but the simple truth is that it’s a very common problem that can lead to embarrassment and lack of confidence. When you notice your teeth have become discolored, the best course of action is to visit your dental office for a professional tooth whitening appointment.

You may be asking yourself, is teeth whitening safe? This is definitely a valid question. Today, we’re going to explore some simple facts about tooth discoloration and whitening, including any risk factors and how to prevent the problem.

Safety of Professional Teeth Whitening

When asking this question, it’s important to understand the risks involved. Any reputable dentist who administers professional teeth whitening will go over all of these with you and answer any questions you may have. The simple answer is that, yes, it is a safe procedure, but it’s important you’re aware of these possible issues:

  • Gum Irritation — If the bleach that’s used touches your gums, it can cause them to become irritated. Your dentist will take precautions to prevent this from happening.
  • Teeth Sensitivity — Another common side effect of teeth whitening is that your teeth may become a bit sensitive. If your teeth are already sensitive as it is, ask your dentist for advice on preparing for the visit.
  • Silver Fillings — In rare cases, the bleach used in teeth whitening has caused mercury in silver fillings to leak. However, the mercury is benign and has been deemed safe by the Academy of General Dentistry, so there’s no danger involved.

Dealing with Teeth Sensitivity After Treatment

The most bothersome of the three risk factors involved with teeth whitening is typically the increased sensitivity. If this happens to you, here are a few solutions that will help alleviate the problem:

  • Sensitivity Toothpaste — Most manufacturers offer a type of toothpaste that is specifically made to lessen the effects of tooth sensitivity. If you’re in doubt as to which one you should use, feel free to ask your dentist for recommendations.
  • Chewing Gum — When you chew, you produce more saliva, which can fight against tooth sensitivity. Plus, the constant motion of chewing may distract you from the pain.
  • Delay Next Treatment — You can sometimes have too much of a good thing. If you have routine tooth whitening sessions, especially the at-home kind provided by your dentist, you may want to take a break for a bit.

Preventing Tooth Discoloration After Treatment

Even if your teeth are in extremely good shape, discoloration can appear unsightly and give you a bad smile, which is likely to make you self-conscious. Here are a few ways that you can prevent discoloration from happening:

  • Avoid Certain Foods/Drinks — Certain foods and drinks, such as tomato sauce, berries, hard candy, coffee, tea, and wine can stain your teeth. Either avoid these altogether or ingest them in moderation.
  • Use a Reusable Straw — When drinking beverages that cause stains, the use of a straw will keep the dyes from coming into contact with your teeth. Of course, you should use reusable straws whenever they’re available because they’re better for the environment.
  • Eliminate Tobacco Use — Smoking tobacco is a surefire way to stain your teeth in one of the ugliest ways possible. You can avoid this, of course, by giving up the habit or not starting it in the first place.

Contact St. Petersburg Dentist Dr. Ferullo for All Your Dental Needs

We began this discussion based on one simple question: is teeth whitening safe? As we’ve stated, the risk factors are very minimal, so you should feel more than confident and comfortable with the procedure. To learn about Dr. Ferullo’s free teeth whiteningin St. Petersburg or for any other questions involving dental health, call our office at (727) 822-8101 today.

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