Does Teeth Whitening Damage Your Enamel?

does teeth whitening damage your teeth

Many patients think that teeth whitening treatments are safe. However, not all of these are!

According to a clinical trial from the USA, the safety of teeth whitening treatment depends on the ingredients used and how frequently it is done.

In this article, we will discuss how whitening affects your tooth and how you can whiten your teeth naturally.

Different Teeth Whitening Methods And How They Affect Your Teeth

Teeth Whitening

What is Tooth Enamel

To start, we should understand the meaning of enamel and its purpose.

This is the hardest tissue in the human body that acts as the protective layer of the tooth. It is hard, tough, and translucent, and it covers the crown of your teeth. 

According to the American Dental Association, its main role is to protect the dentin and prevent decay.

Take note that dentin is the middle layer of a tooth. 

Teeth Whitening Process

So, how does whitening work?

Generally, the process of whitening teeth is simple and many patients undergo it to get a brighter smile.

During a whitening procedure, a dentist will use whitening products that contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

These two are bleaches that work by breaking surface stains in your teeth into smaller pieces.

Eventually, these two can lessen the yellowish color of stains and can make your teeth brighter.

Speaking of stains, understand that there are intrinsic stains and extrinsic stains.

Intrinsic stains are internal factors, usually created by the dentin, that can damage the whole tooth while extrinsic stains are created by your lifestyle choices or external causes, such as smoking, drinking coffee, and consuming red wine.

Furthermore, intrinsic stains are easier to remove than extrinsic ones. Usually, the help of a dentist is required to remove the latter. The process of removing extrinsic stains is also harder.

Take note that whitening treatment is not suitable for all. Before having your teeth whitened, you should talk to your dentist first.

According to a personal dentist, teeth whitening will not work on veneers, crowns, or fillings.

If you have a teeth injury and discolorations due to medications, whitening is not also advisable.

A dentist may provide other treatments instead.

Different Teeth Whitening Treatments

There are many options for those who want to improve the color of their teeth. Some of these options will be discussed in this section.

Again, talk to your dentist before getting any whitening treatment.

A dentist will give the right advice about the best treatment for you.

a) Stain removal kinds of toothpaste

The use of toothpaste can prevent tooth decay but did you know that it can also give you a brighter smile? 

Remember that toothpaste can help remove stains when you use it when brushing your teeth. But, not all kinds of toothpaste can offer this effect.

Before you buy one, make sure that you get one with an ADA seal of acceptance for stain removal.

A product with an ADA seal is designed to inform consumers about the safety and efficacy of the products.

Also, toothpaste with this seal means that the whitening product has additional polishing agents to effectively remove stains.

Also, when you use one with this seal, make sure to follow the product’s instructions to see the benefits in no time.

Before, those with ADA seals contained no bleaching agents. Today, the program has already included OTC bleaching products.

b) In-office bleach treatment

This treatment is also known as chairside bleaching. Many patients prefer it because they only have to see a dentist once. This procedure may also cause gum irritation which is why a dentist would usually apply a protective gel to your gums.

If a gel is not available, a dentist will use a rubber shield to protect your gums before applying a bleaching agent.

c) At-home bleach treatment

Apart from the over-the-counter products, dentists can also give you a custom-made whitening gel or solution which you can safely use at home. Dentists will provide specific instructions for you to follow and this technique may take up to a few weeks.

d.) Over-the-counter teeth whitening products

You can buy these OTC products in-store or online. In the past few years, whitening gel and whitening strips have become more popular.

However, you should take note of the bleach concentration of the product.

Again, before you buy one, make sure that it has a seal of acceptance to ensure that you are using a product in a safe and effective way.

Can Teeth Whitening Products Damage Teeth?

So, can whitening treatments damage your enamel?

Understand that some people develop temporary sensitivity after a whitening procedure.

This tooth sensitivity happens when the peroxide content of the whitening agent enters the enamel. 

Eventually, this can irritate the soft tissues and nerves in your teeth. When this temporary 

sensitivity happens, you can stop the treatment and try again. If tooth sensitivity does not go away, you might want to consider a milder product.

Also, apart from temporary tooth sensitivity, overuse of these whiteners can cause permanent damage to your gums.

To avoid any of these, seek advice from a dentist before using these agents.

How to Whiten Teeth Naturally

For those who want to achieve healthy teeth and a bright smile without using any whitening agents, doing it naturally is also possible.

Some of the ways to bleach your teeth naturally include the following:

  • Practice oil pulling using coconut oil
  • Brush your teeth with baking soda
  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Limit food that can stain your teeth
  • Limit your sugar intake
  • Take calcium supplements
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly

Some dentists also recommend other techniques for whitening your teeth.

Some of these are using activated charcoal, kaolin clay, fruit peels, and apple cider vinegar.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, whitening your teeth does not only improve your smile but also your confidence.

Although there are many ways to make your teeth brighter, some say that whitening is safe while others claim that it can damage teeth.

Fortunately, you can still achieve an amazing smile by whitening your teeth naturally.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I do teeth whitening without affecting my enamel?

You can improve your teeth’ appearance naturally without using any whitening agents. One of the best ways is by using baking soda when you brush your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, using baking soda daily for teeth is safe.

Can yellow teeth become white?

There are some thoughts that people with yellow teeth have stronger ones. But, some people with these colored teeth are not satisfied with how they look. Fortunately, yellow teeth can be whitened with the use of whitening agents.

Are whitening strips safe and effective?

The use of whitening strips is safe and effective only when the product has an ADA seal of acceptance. If a product does not have this seal, the product is deemed to cause damage to your teeth.