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Can Teeth Whitening Ruin Teeth?
When it comes to teeth whitening, there is a common misconception that it can damage enamel. This is simply not true. When done properly, teeth whitening does not damage teeth in any way. What is normal after getting teeth whitened is increased sensitivity to hot or cold beverages and foods. This usually goes away within a few days.
When low-quality products are used or the treatment is not properly done, it can damage teeth roots.
What goes on during teeth whitening treatments
The inner layers of a person's teeth are protected by an outer layer called the enamel. This is actually the hardest part of the body, even stronger than any bone. This enamel consists of countless microscopic tubes that are only visible when observed with magnification.
A tooth's enamel is translucent in nature. It is the next layer, called the dentin, that absorbs most stains and discoloration visible on teeth.
To improve the color of a person's teeth via whitening treatments, the product used has to move through the enamel to reach the dentin. There, it begins to lighten any stains and discoloration on the dentin.
Some whitening products can lead to increased sensitivity. The whitening process leaves enamel tubes open and dehydrated. Saliva helps remineralize these tubules after treatments, but it is best to avoid anything that can stain teeth until the teeth are rehydrated. Dentists also recommend avoiding hot or cold food items during this period.
Teeth whitening treatments are not the only things that can leave teeth dehydrated. Anything that interrupts the continuous flow of saliva dehydrates teeth to an extent. This includes:
- Breathing with the mouth
- Certain medical conditions
- Radiation therapy
White spots typically develop on teeth when they are dehydrated. These spots will fade away as teeth become hydrated.
What to avoid when getting teeth whitening
Many people will purchase over-the-counter whitening products, but these products tend to lead to the most sensitivity. Low-quality, over-the-counter teeth bleaching products should be avoided since they tend to be the harshest on teeth. If a person experiences severe sensitivity after using whitening a product, it is best to discontinue its use.
The most effective way to improve the color of teeth is by getting it done by a dentist. For starters, these professionals have access to products not available to the public. The patient gets significantly better results with less risk of sensitivity. A professionally-done teeth whitening treatment can leave teeth up to 10 shades whiter.
When the treatment is done by a dentist, the patient also gets a customized guard that ensures that the whitening solution is evenly applied and does not seep into the gums and other soft tissue.
With over-the-counter products, the patient gets a one-size-fits-all applicator tray that may or may not fit them properly. If not, they might end up with soft tissue damage.
A single visit makes a huge difference
A single visit to a dentist is all it takes to leave your teeth looking dramatically whiter. Do not take a chance with over-the-counter products made for the masses. Get your own personal whitening plan. Stop by our LaGrange office to learn more about how we can improve the aesthetics of your teeth.
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