Are Teeth Whitening Kits Safe?

Most of our patients ask us to recommend a suitable tooth whitening kit for them. We understand that there are many cheap options out there, however, for better dental health, it is always better to let the dentist help you out with teeth whitening. When a patient visits the dentist for teeth whitening treatment the dentist will accurately take impressions for perfectly individual fitting bleaching trays, followed by a prescription of the correct bleaching agents. This careful process eliminates damage to your teeth and gums.

Should You Use A Teeth Whitening Kit?

There are pros and cons of performing teeth whitening. Thankfully, if the tooth whitening is performed by a registered dentist, the cons are very few, mainly limited to transient sensitivity which normally disappears after 24 hours. Teeth whitening options normally include in-chair laser whitening or custom fit take-home trays with approved teeth whitening gel. 

***We are one of only two dental practices in Ilkley who are able to perform ‘Phillips Zoom’ in surgery laser whitening***

Teeth whitening kits bought online or from a non-GDC registered dentist is not only illegal, but highly dangerous. There are risks of permanent damage to the teeth or gums which could lead to the death of a tooth or irreversible burns to the gums.

Pros of Using Teeth Whitening kits

  • Brighter smile
  • Lasting brightness
  • Quick process

Cons of Using Teeth Whitening Kits

  • Fillings in teeth can hinder the effects of whitening 
  • Some patients develop tooth sensitivity

Using teeth whitening without proper consultation with your dentist can pose some severe adverse effects. Therefore, we insist on caution and urge you to always consult a dental practice in your area. Those who excessively use home teeth whitening without professional oversight end up having unavoidable dental problems. Usually, some adverse effects of unsupervised and prolonged use of teeth whitening are:

  • Sensitive teeth
  • Gum problems such as gingivitis and periodontal issues
  • Loss of minerals in the teeth
  • Damaged pulp leading to the death of a tooth
  • Increased risk of demineralisation of the teeth
  • Tooth erosion

Things to Know About Teeth Whitening

Let us share more details so that you can make an informed decision.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Most teeth whitening kits have Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide as active components. Carbamide peroxide reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide. This agent induces bleaching to remove chromogens which cause staining of the teeth. Chromogens accumulate superficially causing extrinsic stains, which slowly settle under the teeth, causing intrinsic or internal staining of the teeth. There are two broad classifications of chromogens:

  1. Chromogens with large organic compounds and double bonds
  2. Chromogens primarily composed of metal compounds

For the bleaching to happen, the double bonds have to dissolve. Bleaching chromogens are metallic in nature and tougher than organic chromogens.

Other Options You Can Consider

Other than bleaching, you can also discuss other options with your dentist, like crowns and veneers. The selection of the whitening method or products will depend on the extent or type of stains. The most common types of options dentists generally use include:

  • Professional Airflow cleaning, chiefly consisting of abrasives and detergents that help remove staining from the tooth surfaces.
  • Bleaching agents that react with chromogens to break them down and lighten the discoloured teeth making them look brighter
  • Other products with cleansing and bleaching properties
  • Whitening toothpastes
  • Whitening gels and strips
  • Whitening rinses
  • Tray-based teeth whiteners

If you feel that you need teeth whitening, for the best results, book an appointment with a dental practice near you. Let the dentist recommend what is best for you and manage the process for you. It will be safer and you will not damage your teeth. If you are in Ilkley, or further afield, you can always get in touch with us, we are here to help.