Is Teeth Whitening Safe & Effective?

by Aymee Wilson, Owner & Founder, Wilson Aesthetics

Studies have proven that a white smile makes you appear more gorgeous and more clever, successful and sociable! The usual whitening treatments are safe to use as long as you adhere to the product’s instructions.

How do teeth become discolored?

Meals, beverages and smoking cause extrinsic tooth discoloration. This discoloration can be caused by coffee, tea, red wine, meals with dye, and smoke. This discoloration affects the surface of your teeth and can be remedied with toothpaste that targets the external stains of the teeth.

Intrinsic discoloration originates from inside the tooth from drug usage, childhood illness, infection, tooth trauma or aging. Professional bleaching may be required to achieve the same or a higher degree of tooth whiteness.

Teeth-whitening professional treatment

Your provider can whiten your teeth in the office or at home. In most cases, they will bleach your teeth using carbamide peroxide. This decomposes into hydrogen peroxide and urea and targets the tooth’s color through a chemical reaction. It is considered safe. 

The bleaching products are significantly more potent than those available over-the-counter. Whiteners used by dentists may contain up to 35% to 45% peroxide. However, store-bought whitening kits, such as whitening strips and trays, often have only 7%.

Office-based treatment

An in-office teeth-whitening procedure can be advantageous due to its rapid efficacy and longer effect. You may require an hour-long treatment or a few sessions. This is because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the applied items is higher than in household products.

If you also have receding gums, it is advised that you undergo in-office treatment.

Teeth-whitening products

For stained teeth, you can use over-the-counter whitening solutions such as:  

  • Whitening toothpaste 
  • Whitening strips 
  • Whitening trays (These have a higher percentage of bleach and may work better.)

Teeth-whitening products safety 

In general, teeth-whitening products are relatively safe. However, you must also use care with every whitening agent. Do not use any product excessively or longer than recommended.

The most prevalent bleaching agents found in teeth-whitening products are peroxides. Hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide will likely be listed in the ingredients for your whitening kit, whether for in-office or at-home use. Be mindful and follow either your provider’s instructions or the instruction in an at-home kit.