Skip to main content

How Can I Be Sure Teeth Whitening Is Safe?

How Can I Be Sure Teeth Whitening Is Safe?

Getting your teeth professionally whitened can provide much more dramatic results than doing it yourself with products you find over the counter. But is teeth whitening really safe? 

The answer is yes. In this post, our providers at Dental Art of South Bay explain what you need to know about this popular procedure.

How your teeth get stained

Your teeth don’t usually start out with stains. Instead, you develop stains over time, usually as a result of bad habits. Some of the habits that can lead to stained teeth include:

However, you can also have internal staining, which means that the dentin inside your teeth is naturally darker. This condition is usually not something that you can control or prevent. It may result from taking certain medications, childhood illness, infections, tooth trauma, or aging. 

If the dentin is stained inside your teeth, we can try teeth whitening. But if you do not achieve the results you want, you’re not stuck with your stained teeth. We can still get the results you want with other treatments, such as dental veneers.

Safe options for professional tooth whitening

When it comes to whitening your teeth, you have several options. Getting your teeth whitened by a dentist produces much more effective results than doing it by yourself with products that are available over the counter. The bleaching chemicals are usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which break up the stains on your teeth and are known to be safe.

The dentist will discuss with you the best options for whitening your teeth. This may include one of the following:

In-office whitening

With this option, you get your tooth whitening done by a dentist in their office. In this process, you have a high intensity of bleaching chemicals applied to your teeth. Often, we can apply chemicals along with using a Zoom!® laser to “cure” the chemicals and make them work more effectively.

The advantage of getting your teeth whitened in a dentist’s office is that it’s often much quicker. You may be able to get results in as little as an hour and may only need a couple of sessions.

Take-home whitening

With this option, the dentist gives you custom-made trays filled with whitening chemicals to take home. You will be directed to wear the trays for 30 minutes to an hour for up to 2 weeks.

How tooth whitening works

You and your dentist decide together which option is best for you. In-office treatments are usually recommended if you have receding gums or a loss of tooth structure (called abfraction lesions). 

There are over-the-counter treatments available as well, such as whitening toothpaste or strips with weaker concentrations of bleaching chemicals. These are usually not sufficient to achieve significant results in themselves, but they may help you maintain your results after professional whitening.

What to expect after treatment

Tooth whitening is considered very safe overall, with any discomforts only lasting for a short period of time.

Although you may experience some tooth sensitivity after whitening your teeth, this is usually temporary. We usually recommend shorter periods of whitening with more intense chemicals as opposed to longer periods with weaker concentrations of whitening chemicals.

You may also experience irritation to your gums, which is also temporary. 

Cosmetic dentistry has many options available to transform your smile. If you would like to have a consultation about what we can do for you, contact the providers at Dental Art of South Bay in Torrance, California, today or request an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Signs Dentures Aren’t Working for You

Signs Dentures Aren’t Working for You

Have you had it with your dentures? Are you tired of sacrificing your favorite foods and spending time cleaning your false teeth? Great news — there’s a better way. Here’s how to tell it’s time to kick your dentures to the curb.

Is My Bite Problem Too Severe for Invisalign®?

Invisalign® has become a household word that gets teens and adults excited rather than resistant about orthodontic treatment. While this revolutionary system solves multiple problems, a few exceed its capabilities. Here’s what you need to know.
4 Popular Kinds of Dentures

4 Popular Kinds of Dentures

Whether an accident knocked out your teeth or decay loosened them until they fell out, you can’t chew, speak, or smile without a problem. Fortunately, dentures can replace your missing chompers and make your mouth look and feel normal again.
When to Consider Sedation Dentistry for Your Teen

When to Consider Sedation Dentistry for Your Teen

Teenagers have enough stress in their lives these days; going to the dentist doesn’t have to add to it. If your teen experiences anxiety or fear at the thought of getting their teeth checked, our sedation dentistry might be the solution.
5 Benefits of Routine Dental Cleanings After 40

5 Benefits of Routine Dental Cleanings After 40

If you think that wrinkles and achy joints are the only signs of aging, think again. All your cells, tissues, and organs change as you age, including your teeth and gums. Here’s why you need to stick with or ramp up dental care at age 40.