When you think about teeth whitening, safety probably isn’t your first concern.
In fact, it may not be something you worry about at all.
You just want to remove the stains from your teeth so they look whiter and cleaner, right?
You may be aware that increased tooth sensitivity is possible, but you probably haven’t considered anything worse could happen.
Either way, our dentist wants to make sure your teeth are whitened as safely as possible, If you live in or near West Chester, PA, and you are considering teeth whitening, make an appointment at the office of K.C. Sykora, DDS, Family and Implant Dentistry.
The Worst-Case Scenario
We don’t want to scare anyone who is considering teeth whitening, but we do want to share an unfortunate incident that happened recently to a young woman from Scotland.
Abbie Kilbride is an 18-year-old, according to the article on the Daily Record’s website.
The article reads that she had just finished wearing braces and wanted to have her teeth whitened. Instead of going to a dentist, she visited a woman who did teeth whitening in her home. (We don’t know what Scottish laws are about who can do whitening.)
Before her treatment was over, her lips started to swell, but the woman told her that was normal. When the swelling got worse in the morning, Kilbride went to a hospital and learned that she had third-degree burns on her lips and a possible allergic reaction.
We want to stress that what happened to her is extremely rare, but it should as a reminder that professional whitening should be done with guidance from a dental professional.
ADA Statement On Teeth Whitening
If you have walked down any toothpaste aisle recently, then you know there are numerous “whitening” products available. Toothpaste, strips, and gels are among your many options.
Well, the American Dental Association has noticed, too. That’s why the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs decided to take a closer look at the many self-proclaimed whitening products on the market.
Here’s what they found. Whitening is used to mean two very different things.
One kind of whitening product is used to remove surface stains, which is pretty much what any toothpaste will do.
The second kind of whitening product contains bleaching agents that are meant to remove deeper stains from your teeth. If you are interested in making your teeth whiter, these are the products you may have considered buying.
In general, these contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Commercial products (the ones you can get at the store) contain a maximum of about 10 percent carbamide peroxide, which equals 3.5 percent hydrogen peroxide.
In contrast, professional whitening products can contain 25 percent hydrogen peroxide or more. This also is you should get them from a dentist’s office.
Regardless of which kind of whitening product you use, the ADA council recommends talking to your dentist before you begin any treatment. A dentist can examine your teeth to make sure whitening is appropriate and can advise you on the whitening process.
Your Whitening Options
If you are interested in whitening at our office, we provide two options for our patients. Both are easy to use take-home products.
If you are looking for faster results, then we would recommend our custom whitening kit. After making impressions of your teeth, we will create a custom whitening tray just for you. You will fill the tray with Opalescence whitening gel. It’s important that you wear the tray as directed.
In just a few weeks, you should see a significant change in the whiteness of your smile. Once your teeth are as white as you want them to be, you can use the gel once a month or so to maintain your bright smile.
If you would prefer a lower cost solution, we also offer Ultradent whitening strips. These are a professional product similar to the strips you can get at retail stores. These are larger, so they cover more of your teeth, and more potent, so they get your teeth whiter than the commercial versions.
Want to learn more?
If you are interested in professional teeth whitening, or you are considering whitening your teeth, please schedule a consultation at our dentist office in West Chester, PA, before you begin.
K.C. Sykora, DDS, can check your teeth so you know if teeth whitening or another kind of cosmetic dentistry is the best way to improve your smile.