The simple answer is - yes, it is typically considered safe to get your teeth professionally whitened, as long as it is being performed by a licensed dentist or dental professional.
Be wary of any other type of business, such as beauty salons, that offers teeth whitening as it may put your oral health at risk, and is in fact illegal if there is no dental professional present. The same goes for some home teeth whitening kits on the market - some of which can carry serious risks to your teeth. So, if looking to get your teeth whitened, always make sure the person performing the whitening is a professional in the dental industry.
What Are the Different Types of Teeth Whitening?
When looking at getting your teeth professionally whitened, there are a number of different methods to consider. The most common are laser whitening and gel whitening. Laser whitening, also called power whitening, is a teeth whitening procedure provided by dentists whereby a bleaching agent is painted onto your teeth followed by a light or laser being shone onto them to activate the whitening.
Gel whitening can also be provided by a dental professional but it works slightly differently to the laser option. The dentist will firstly take an impression of your teeth to make a mouthguard. You will then use this mouthguard at home to regularly apply the whitening gel for a specified amount of time over a number of weeks.
What Are the Risks of Teeth Whitening?
Even if you go to a dental professional to whiten your teeth, like any dental procedure, it doesn’t come without its own risks, such as tooth sensitivity, gum irritation or tooth damage.
Tooth Sensitivity & Gum Irritation
One of the most common issues associated with teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity. Regardless of the method used, whitening products contain peroxide, which can irritate the nerves in the teeth and cause temporary sensitivity or discomfort. This usually goes away within a few days after the treatment, but for some, it can stay around for weeks or even months.
You may also experience sore or irritated gums to start with, if they come into contact with the product. This may cause redness, swelling, or even chemical burns.
Tooth Damage & Uneven Whitening
Although uncommon, overuse or incorrect use of whitening products may cause damage to your tooth enamel and increase the chance of tooth decay.
It's essential that you follow the instructions carefully and not exceed the recommended usage. For example, for many gel take home kits, they require you to only use a tiny pea sized amount of product for each tooth. If you exceed this amount, you are opening yourself up to the risk of enamel damage, which brings with it a number of its own issues.
Another risk, especially if you have uneven tooth staining, is that the teeth whitening might not produce even results across your teeth. In some cases, certain teeth may not even respond well to the product, and you won’t discover this until after the procedure.
Can You Naturally Whiten Your Teeth?
Yes! You can absolutely naturally whiten your teeth. In fact, there are numerous methods that can help to effectively whiten your teeth, all of which are much more affordable than expensive professional whitening and can be done from the comfort of your own home.
How to Whiten Your Teeth at Home
To whiten your teeth at home, you can:
1. Brush With Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide
Baking soda is a natural abrasive with teeth whitening properties that can help remove surface stains on teeth. Simply mix a small amount of baking soda with water to make a paste, then brush your teeth with it a few times a week.
You can also add hydrogen peroxide - a bleaching agent which helps to kill bacteria - into the mix to form an even stronger teeth whitening solution. Be careful not to use too much as this can damage your teeth. Take one tablespoon of baking soda and two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. Mix both the contents, and you’ll end up with a paste. Use this paste to brush your teeth regularly.
2. Oil Pulling
Another at home natural remedy that can be used to whiten teeth is oil pulling - the process of swishing oil (such as coconut oil) around in your mouth for several minutes. The oil is believed to help remove many types of bacteria from the mouth and lift surface stains off the teeth.
To perform oil pulling, take one tablespoon of coconut oil, for example and swish it around in your mouth. Continue this process for 15 minutes.
3. Use Whitening Toothpaste
Of course, maintaining a good dental routine is imperative for clean teeth, but opting for whitening toothpaste, such as charcoal toothpaste, can help you go that extra mile and visibly help remove surface stains on your teeth. These toothpastes typically contain mild abrasives that help scrub away stains, as well as special ingredients that can help whiten teeth.
Charcoal Toothpaste Tablets
Our new range of fluoride charcoal toothpaste tablet products, are providing an eco-friendly alternative to conventional toothpaste products. These fluoride toothpaste tablets are family-friendly, sustainable, and contain ingredients to aid with enhanced stain removal and teeth whitening.
Learn more about charcoal toothpaste and its benefits, here.
4. Eat Crunchy Fruit and Vegetables
Did you know that crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, and celery can help to rub off plaque from your teeth while you chew. Of course, they are not a replacement for brushing, but they have been found to scrub away surface stains as a result of this. Additionally, the high water content in these foods can help stimulate saliva production, which can naturally cleanse the teeth.
What’s more, fruit and vegetables are known to be very useful for your overall health, that’s a win-win for you.
Brush Fresh is founded and run by a group of UK-based dentists, who specialise in environmentally-friendly and sustainable dental products. From biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes to zero waste toothbrush tablets, our product range has been designed to put both your dental health and the environment first. For more information and dental care advice, head over to our blog page or get in contact with us here