Does teeth whitening damage your teeth?

Does teeth whitening damage your teeth?

Is bleaching teeth a viable option?

Do you get bedazzled by those perfectly aligned neon white teeth every time you scour the pages of a magazine or watch your favorite celeb on television? Ever thought how they get those shiny teeth? Of course with bleach, thanks to dentists, and over-the-counter products like whitening strips and toothpaste, chewing gums, etc.


The surface of the tooth when viewed under the microscope looks like a honeycomb. There are thousands of enamel rods positioned side by side and underneath them ‘dentin tubules’ forms the inner layer of the tooth. Over a period of time, the stains work their way through the surface and get caught in this honeycomb-like structure. The stain then becomes an intrinsic part of the tooth. In addition, sipping tea, coffee or wine or taking certain medications can stain the tooth. And this is when we visit our dentist to remove those external stains.


Well, dentists across the world claim that teeth whitening does not damage your tooth enamel, instead it bleaches from the outside. It takes a long time for stain to form because the tubes in the honeycomb are likely to be plugged up because of food particles. The wider they open, it can lead to sensitive tooth, particularly cold. To make the bleaching agents work their magic, the plugs need to be removed so that they can penetrate the inner layer. This is why teeth is sensitive during whitening procedures. This sensitivity makes many think that it can cause permanent damage but the fact is that plugs return within few weeks.


The popular and expensive method these days is laser tooth whitening, where hydrogen peroxide solution is applied onto a tooth and then exposed to a strong light which speeds up the lightening process. Less expensive would be whitening products available at drugstores. Whitening strips are coated with a gel made from hydrogen or carbamide peroxide which reacts with the humidity levels in the mouth, oxidizes, thereby seeping into the enamel of the tooth. Remember overuse of these over-the-counter kits can lead to gum irritation or harm earlier dental work done on your tooth.

If your teeth is sensitive, prone to gum disease or has a worn out enamel, then your dentist may put off tooth whitening. Whitening done under supervision can last between 1 to 5 years depending on your eating and drinking habits. Always check your dental plan before you decide to undergo a procedure.

For a quicker and effective lightening of the teeth, visit your dentist today and get that sparkling bright smile!

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