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Is At-Home Whitening Bad for Your Teeth?

September 16, 2022

A person’s smile is one of the first things other people notice about them. Many people are self-conscious of their smile, especially if their teeth don’t follow conventional beauty standards. Coffee, wine, smoking, and vaping can stain your teeth and make them appear yellow.   

If you’re self-conscious about the color of your teeth, consider going to your dentist for professional teeth cleaning and whitening for a whiter and brighter smile before purchasing that at-home whitening kit. Using at-home whitening kits every once in a while, won’t have adverse effects on your teeth—many of them are even approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).   

These at-home kits don’t provide the results as quickly as many consumers hope for, which leads to overuse and, as a result, damaged teeth.   

At-Home Whitening Kits and Toothpaste  

These do-it-yourself whitening kits and toothpaste contain peroxide, which aids in bleaching teeth and removing stains. They are easy to purchase and even easier to overuse. While these at-home teeth whitening agents contain lower amounts of peroxide than professional whitening, it can take multiple uses to achieve the desired results. If you become impatient and use them too frequently, you can damage your teeth and gums.   

Negative Effects of Excessive Teeth Whitening  

Even though many of these products are approved by the ADA, anything in excess can be harmful to you. Excessive teeth whitening may lead to multiple issues including:   

  • Translucent appearance  
  • Tooth enamel loss  
  • Irritated gums  
  • Sensitive teeth  

Too much peroxide over time from at-home whitening may leave your teeth looking translucent instead of white. This makes them appear discolored and grey, especially around the edges. Translucent-looking teeth usually result from a loss of tooth enamel. Too much whitening can erode the enamel of your teeth. This can be serious because tooth enamel protects your teeth from decay, and without it, you are at a higher risk of cavities. Tooth enamel loss is serious because once the damage is done, there is no going back!   

The peroxide in these kits can cause irritated gums and tooth sensitivity. You may notice red and sensitive gums after using them. Overuse can also irritate the inside of your mouth and even your throat. If your gums are too irritated, they can bleed and make it hard to eat. Sensitive teeth can make it difficult to eat/drink hot and cold food or beverages. Luckily, the irritation and sensitivity can go away on their own after the discontinued use of whitening kits.   

Professional Teeth Whitening  

If you want white teeth, it’s best to go to the professionals. No one knows teeth better than a dentist! Not only will the dentist take good care of your teeth, but you’ll also have better results that last longer than at-home whitening kits. The results are far more effective, and you won’t need treatments as often.   

For a professional tooth whitening service, contact Sinquefield Family Dentistry today!