Dental Health Topics

How Safe is Home Whitening?

In case you’re wondering – we think you’re beautiful just the way you are. But, if your preference is for whiter teeth, then we want you to do it safely!

There is a lot of misinformation out there about how to get a glowing smile. Most folks start by looking into the least-expensive way to obtain a white smile – but often that means home remedies that rely on lemon juice, activated charcoal, or other whitening no-no’s.

So how safe is home whitening, exactly? The answer is – it depends on your method!

Home Remedies: Use at Your Own Risk

Remedies involving items in your pantry will not get your dentist’s seal of approval. Brushing your teeth with baking soda, for instance, is far too abrasive and can cause issues with your tooth’s enamel – that hard outer coating that protects your teeth from cavities!

Consider the source of information you’re consuming. If someone’s blog is instructing you to whiten your teeth “naturally” or at a fraction of the cost of an over-the-counter kit, we suggest you don’t follow their recommendation. Rarely are these bloggers prioritizing your long-term tooth health.

Over-The-Counter Kits: Safe If You Follow Directions

Over-the-counter (OTC) kits are generally safe only if you follow the directions. Don’t go and keep those whitening strips on for longer than you should, and avoid loading up on multiple kits at once.

Instead, choose a kit that has earned the seal of approval of the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA seal of approval means that the product has been found to be safe and effective when used as directed.

Prescribed At-Home and In-Office Methods: Gold Star Approach

Your dentist is the one who knows teeth the best. Not only that – they know your teeth the best.

Based on your health history, your oral hygiene, and the presence of any dental appliances or restorations, they will be able to give you the best recommendation for how to whiten your teeth. Plus, their methods tend to be more effective.

The Health of Your Teeth is More Important Than How White They Are

When it comes to whitening, it’s better to prioritize having healthy teeth throughout a lifetime, versus pursuing the whitest shade of white at all costs. Whiten the way your dentist recommends, and you will prevent a whole host of short-term problems (like gum sensitivity) and long-term problems (like enamel erosion).

Be safe out there, folks!