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Learn About a Tooth Whitening Warning

Getting white teeth is a favorite American pastime. Annually Americans spend Americans spend $1.4 billion on DYI home tooth whitening kits and countless amounts more to professional dental care providers to achieve the results. When done properly, either option can remove tooth stains and discoloration and provide individuals with their dream smiles. However, when it comes to tooth whitening, there can be too much of a good thing and other traps that patients need to be wary off.

Strip Malls Strip Teeth

Ever since the first shopping mall was opened in Morgan Park, Duluth, Minnesota in 1916, United States citizens have had a love affair with the shopping Meccas. Malls became a one-stop hub of entertainment and activity, a great place for teens to hang out and a safe environment for seniors looking to walk. In addition to those perks, shopping malls have become a common place for tooth whitening kiosks that tempt consumers with the ability to brighten their smiles during a shopping spree. Just because the tooth bleaching stands are common does not mean they are safe.

According to CBS News out of Boston, the biggest risks associated with kiosks promising white teeth is that they are not regulated and despite the staff wearing lab coats, there is no professional dentist on hand. In regards to the former, since the kiosks have no oversight there is a greater risk of consumers getting the incorrect strength of formal and risk infection from potentially unsanitary conditions. Since there is no licensed dentist on hand, conditions like tooth decay, cavities and gum disease will go undiagnosed and potentially be exasperated by the tooth bleaching process.


Tooth staining is a common side effect of many foods, beverages and behaviors and some people may be tempted to whiten their teeth after ever cigarette they smoke or have a glass of wine. That would prove to be both a foolish and potentially painful situation as there are risks involved with the process.

Tooth whitening is done with powerful chemicals in order to produce white teeth and too much bleaching can cause permanent damage to fragile tooth enamel. Not only can tooth enamel be damaged to the point of looking oddly translucent, the protective exterior can be worn away increasing a consumers odds of developing tooth sensitively and tooth pain. Experts estimate that 10 to 65 percent of consumers who opt to bleach their teeth experience some type of discomfort from the treatments (Yahoo.com). Although the pain is short lived, it is not pleasant.

False Expectations

If it were easy to get perfect looking flawless white teeth, everyone would have them. Although tooth bleaching can indeed lighten teeth, the final shade is limited by a person’s natural tooth structure. Teeth naturally have two basic undertone shades, gray or yellow. Although tooth whitening will remove stains, it cannot change what a person has been born with, meaning if your teeth have always been a bit yellow, then that is the way they are meant to be.

Additionally, there are certain circumstances where tooth bleaching is not worth the money at all. As people age, tooth enamel will natural thin exposing the dentin underneath. Once exposed, the dentin color will not budge from the efforts of a tooth whitening kit, regardless of the strength used.

The antibiotic Tetracycline can also cause permanent tooth staining. The drug is not recommended for children under the age of eight as during that time, the Tetracycline stains can develop on permanent teeth while they are still forming under the gum line. Once those adult teeth erupt they will be tinged with gray or brown hues that are a permanent part of tooth enamel and cannot be lightened.

If you are an individual looking to get whiter teeth, seeking the advice of a dentist skilled in cosmetic dentistry is a smart move as they will provide you an honest assessment as to what can and cannot be done to your teeth.

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