Does Teeth Whitening Help or Hurt Teeth?

A side by side comparison of teeth whitening by Dental Partners of Boston

We all want sparkly, white teeth. It can make your smile go from ordinary to extraordinary! There are a lot of products out there today that claim to whiten your teeth. While most of them can do the job, at least temporarily, not all are a good option. It’s always a better option to talk to your dentist first before going through with an at-home teeth whitening procedure. Some options can cause damage to your teeth that are hard or impossible to reverse.

You may wonder, “Does teeth whitening help or hurt my teeth?” The answer isn’t quite as simple as a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ The dentists at Dental Partners of Boston can give you some insight that may help!

One of the most frequently asked questions our Boston dentists receive is: “Does teeth whitening damage your tooth enamel?” The easy answer, agreed upon by many dentists is, no. The teeth whitening gel will not damage or harm your tooth enamel. Enamel is one of the hardest tissues in our bodies. Inside the enamel are tiny tubules. To whiten our teeth this gel flows through these enamel tubules and lightens the stained tissue.

How Does It Work?

While whitening won’t damage the enamel it can cause some tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity is often only temporary. As the whitening gel goes to work, the tubules inside the enamel are left exposed and open causing dehydration. But the organic material found in saliva is quickly absorbed into the tubules. During this process, it is very important to stay away from consuming any food or drink that contains color. Until the enamel is re-hydrated it will absorb any color that it is exposed to. Also during this time, it’s good to avoid hot or cold liquids as it will cause even more sensitivity.

Cautions During the Teeth Whitening Procedure

Disruption to the saliva flow can happen anytime and cause dehydration. Simply breathing, smoking, specific medications, radiation treatments, and some medical conditions can cause dehydration. Dehydration can happen very quickly and rehydration can take several hours. Sensitivity occurs during the dehydration and rehydration process. If you experience this during the whitening process discontinue using the whitening gel or other product until the sensitivity is no longer an issue.

Again we want to emphasize that whitening your teeth will not cause damage just some sensitivity as explained above. Teeth whitening can be a very easy procedure and is something your cosmetic dentist at Dental Partners of Boston can offer. It offers great results and is fairly easy to maintain over time. Give Dental Partners of Boston a call today to schedule a consultation for teeth whitening.

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