Could teeth whitening be harmful to your health?

By: Health Local Staff Sep 23, 2013
Teeth Whitening

If you are serious about whitening your teeth visit your dentist to get the scoop on safe and effective ways to whiten your smile.

On the job or on a date, one thing matters more than any other appearance factor – white teeth. Achieving that perfect smile and ridding the yellow teeth could be harmful to your health, and here's why.

You leave the dental office with a new tray of bleach, the perfect plastic mold to match your teeth and vials of teeth whitening solution. Once home, you go by your own set of rules for speedy results.

According to a recent article and study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, even the bleaching treatments provided by your dentist have been linked to demineralization of the enamel on your teeth. This means that erosion of the teeth’s surface may develop later on. 

The study revealed that continuous mineral loss could result in a high likelihood of deterioration of the tooth structure. This leads to an increase in cavities and other problems.

For the last several years, over-the-counter bleaching methods have received most of the negative press because a dentist does not monitor them. However, the bleaching kits given by dentists are also under attack because of the concentration of hydrogen peroxide used to permeate the enamel. The higher concentration activates a process that causes mineralization to be enhanced.

This does not mean that there are not safe and effective treatments for whitening your teeth. If you are serious about teeth whitening, it is important to check with your dentist to see what kind of in-office treatments are available.

Here are a few tips to help prevent teeth yellowing:

Drink through a straw – to prevent staining or re-staining (once your teeth have been whitened) sip drinks through a straw, especially the dark ones. Coffees, teas and sodas should be limited to having contact with the teeth.

Pair wines with whitening foods – crunchy foods such as carrots, apples and celery have properties that act like mini toothbrushes and help scrub off the Merlot or even coffee. The cleansing abilities of these foods help maintain the whiteness of the teeth.

Make your own whitener – A grainy paste that removes superficial stains can be made with a small mixture of baking soda and water. Use the paste a couple of times of day or at each brushing and before you know it, your smile with be pearly white.

Choose the right shade of lipstick – There may not be 50 shades to teeth whitening, but there are certain shades that can give the appearance of whiter teeth. Choose lipsticks with blue undertones and avoid those with yellow or gold tones that accentuate the yellow striations of the enamel.

If you are serious about whitening your teeth visit your dentist today and get the scoop on safe and effective ways to whiten your smile. It is important to ask questions and protect your health as well as your teeth.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at