Is Teeth Whitening Harmful?

Can whitening your teeth damage your teeth?

This is a question I’ve heard a lot. A few years back I’d never whiten my teeth and I would ask the same question. A lot of people are wondering if the product you put on your teeth is going to get into the enamel? Is it somehow going to make it brittle? Is it going to make your teeth fall out? 

Here’s the thing: people have been whitening their teeth for a long time. When we go back to the ancient Greeks, Renaissance Europeans, or look through American history, people have prized whiten teeth. Because it signals youth, strength, and health. Because of that, it’s something that people look for status and reputation and realize that people are attracted to that. They have tried and strive to have those types of white teeth.

You can avoid damaging your teeth if you simply follow the five tips I’ll give you below. These tips can minimize risk.

1. Understand the basics of teeth whitening

As you age, your teeth will become less white. That’s just the way it is. As a man, your teeth are naturally going to be less white than women’s teeth. Children have the whitest teeth. When you look at the tooth, you see the outside enamel. Inside the tooth, we have the dentin, which is a naturally darker color. Children’s teeth have a larger percentage of enamel. Once we get down into the dentin, men have the largest percentage. Therefore, as time goes on, the wear and tear teeth naturally start to become darker. Also, the food we eat like coffee, tea, berries slightly color and stain our teeth.

When you look at solutions, you will hear about peroxides like carbamide and hydrogen peroxide. You need to understand it’s important that you focus on the concentration and the percentage. You will see this anywhere from a few percentage points in certain toothpaste to up to 45% in some of the higher concentrations. Maybe even a little bit higher if you go into your dentist’s office. The higher the percentage is, the more careful you need to be. If it’s lower percentages, you can leave that one for a while.

2. Know what to expect when you go through the teeth whitening process

You can expect more sensitivity. You can expect to feel a little bit on the gums if you get the peroxide solution on your gums. One thing you shouldn’t expect is pain. If you experience pain, stop immediately. It’s not worth it. But you can expect a little bit of sensitivity. Especially if your teeth are already naturally sensitive.

3. Understand the limitations of whitening your teeth

First off you need to get your teeth cleaned. If it has been years, whitening your teeth cannot remove and heal the plaque. There is a whole scale on how white your teeth should be. If you have dark teeth, you can see a big difference when you whiten your teeth for the first time. But, as you get closer to white or off-white, it’s going to be harder and harder to make jumps.

You don’t need perfectly white teeth. You just want something close to the off-white, which is a natural state and is much better. The perfect white is not the end goal.

4. Buy from a trusted resource

You can go to your dentist’s. It will cost more and that’s what you pay for. Otherwise, you can shop online. There are many oral care companies that sell teeth whitening stuff. When you have a kit, you need to follow directions, you get to and take things into your own hands.

5. Follow the directions

It sounds obvious. But so many people don’t do this. They will mess up by using too much of the product. Almost all teeth whitening products have very clear instructions on the amount of the product you can use and the frequency. Don’t use more. 

Those are my five tips. Hopefully, you learn something.

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