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The Risks of DIY Teeth Whitening

Beautiful Smile

No one wants yellow, stained or dingy-looking teeth. In fact, teeth whitening is the most popular treatment in cosmetic dentistry. Brightening your smile has never been easier, especially if you choose over-the-counter whitening products to perform at home. However, do-it-yourself teeth whitening can come at a cost that far outweighs the assumed benefits.

Store-bought products like whitening strips can seem like a more convenient and cheaper solution than going to your dentist for professional teeth whitening. Unfortunately, this comes with risks. The results of over-the-counter products can result in long-lasting damages to your smile.

The Drawbacks of Whitening Strips

One of the most popular options in store-bought whitening products is whitening strips. Teeth whitening strips involve flexible plastic strips that “stick” to the front surfaces of your teeth. These strips rely on a type of hydrogen peroxide to remove discoloration and extrinsic stains from the teeth after a period of minutes, hours or days depending on the specific brand or model.

What is the harm in whitening strips and what could go wrong with such a simple process? Understanding the risk of whitening strips requires you to understand some tooth anatomy first. Your teeth are covered by an outer substance called enamel. This protective layer is most vulnerable to surface stains from dark foods and drinks, tobacco products, etc.

Whitening strips are meant to bleach the outer tooth enamel to remove such discoloration. However, in the process of bleaching the surface layer of your teeth, the hydrogen peroxide of your whitening strips can also break down critical components of the dentin – which is the next layer of your teeth. Dentin is a more porous and less durable layer that is packed with protein and collagen.

Since whitening strips are not customized to your unique smile, they can be too strong or not be used correctly. This can cause the dentin layer to chip away and leave your smile exposed to outside elements. Not only can patients experience the sensitivity of this damage, but the teeth also become more vulnerable to decay and infection. Lastly, with the breakdown of collagen and dentin, you may not even get the whitening results you had hoped for.

Choose Whitening from Your Dentist

To avoid the serious drawbacks of DIY whitening strips, go to your dentist for a brighter smile instead. A dental professional uses professional grade products that are controlled and customized to fit the needs of your specific smile. This protects the gums from getting irritated by harsh chemicals as well as ensures your teeth are effectively whitened but not damaged.

Call Green Dental of Alexandria today to learn more about customized professional teeth whitening. We want you to have a healthy and bright smile this summer!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria

Green Dental of Alexandria – Alexandria Dentist
1725 Duke St, Suite GR03
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 549-1725

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