skip to Main Content
Dental News & Articles
Dental Videos
Dental FAQs

Is Tooth Whitening Bad for My Teeth?

Teeth whitening before and after

We all want our teeth whiter, but many times people are cautious because they don’t want to do any damage to their teeth. Many hear it can make your teeth very sensitive or irritate your gums, making you hesitant! With the increasing popularity of tooth whitening, more products have become available and it can be hard to know what works and more importantly if they are safe for long-term use.

Different Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

While there are different types of chemicals and varying concentrations, whitening products work in one of two ways. The first is with abrasive materials that wear away stains and the second is with certain chemicals that open tiny pores in the tooth, and allow certain elements to remove stain.

Whitening Toothpastes Can Harm Your Teeth

Without getting too much into the science, we never recommend any of the whitening toothpastes due to the fact that they are so abrasive. You will not notice any harmful effects with use over the short term, but with long term use you will cause loss of enamel making teeth sensitive. And eventually it will allow for the darker underlying core of our teeth to show through, defeating the purpose of the whitening toothpaste.

Best Ways to Whiten Teeth

Due to this risk we always recommend the use of whitening strips, trays, or in office treatments. These products use a substance that opens up the small pores in your teeth and allow for the breakdown and removal of stains with oxygen. This opening of the tubules of the teeth can lead to cold sensitivity and makes people think that they are actually harming their teeth. However, no structural damage is being done and the sensitivity is only temporary, until the tubules close back up.

Opalescence and Kor Whitening

While there are hundreds of different whitening products out there, we have found Opalescence in custom trays and Kor Whitening (for the more difficult cases) work the best. Opalescence benefits include: four different levels of concentration to allow for treatment flexibility, three different flavors, retainers can be worn day or night and it also contains fluoride to help strengthen teeth.

Custom Tooth Whitening Trays

Custom tooth whitening trays

Our number one recommendation… custom whitening trays. They are key. For example they:

  • Keep saliva out
  • Maintain the concentration of whitening at appropriate level
  • Most other products don’t have a great seal, so a 15% solution of carbamide peroxide quickly becomes 5% and that is why people don’t get the results they desire
  • Can use a higher concentration as well because seal keeps it off the gums

Tooth Whitening Before and After

Below are actual unretouched results of tooth whitening treatments.

Teeth whitening before and after
Teeth whitening before and after
Teeth whitening before and after

Learn More About Tooth Whitening Treatments

Combine custom whitening trays with in office treatments to see greater shade changes and a white smile. Give our office a call if you are interested in custom whitening trays or learning more about the whitening treatments we offer. By the end of the appointment, we’ll send you home with a kit that is right for you!

Oral HygieneTooth Whitening