Over the last two decades, the media has focused intently on the perfectly-aligned, pearly white teeth of celebrities and the rich and famous. Their blinding smiles have been plastered on the covers of countless magazines, and across the big and little screen for years.
The focus has become so intense that average citizens have been flocking, in droves, to dentists for teeth-perfecting cosmetic procedures. In more recent years, the market for home whitening kits have exploded, as well, but many wonder if these strips are really a safe option for your teeth. They might turn your slightly stained teeth a shining white color, but are they doing damage?
What are Home Whitening Strips?
Home whitening strips hit the market in the early 2000s. First marketed by Crest, home whitening kits are generally made of a flexible plastic strip coated in hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide is activated by the moisture found in the mouth, and works its way into the enamel of the teeth. The oxidization of the gel breaks down stains and bleaches the surface of each tooth.
Do Home Whitening Strips and Kits Work?
The effectiveness of such kits has been studied fairly extensive since they hit the mass market. All studies have found that whitening kits, for the most part, do work effectively to brighten and whiten smiles. Most consumers who have used the products agree that they did see a difference in their smiles in terms of brightness. They also reported a positive change in the color of their teeth.
That said, whitening strips work best on certain stains. People who are dealing with grey or brown teeth are unlikely to see results with at-home whitening kits. People with these types of stains are better off seeing a professional for their whitening needs, as there are other methods that can better address such discoloration. Those dealing with yellow stains, which are seen in people who drink colored beverages or who smoke, will likely respond well to at-home whitening kits. Yellow stains are generally considered surface stains that can be bleached away. Brown or grey colored teeth may be indicative of a deeper problem that should be addressed by a healthcare professional.
Are Teeth Whitening Strips Safe?
Whitening strips, when used according to their directions, are safe and won’t harm teeth. However, if overused, whitening strips can cause serious damage. If they are left on the teeth too long, or used too often, whitening strips can lead to damage to the enamel of the teeth. This can leave the teeth sensitive and prone to cavities and other dental issues. You should always check with a dental professional before beginning an at-home whitening regimen.
Professional Teeth Whitening in New York City
For best results, teeth whitening should be performed by a professional dentist. At Tribeca Dental Care, we will work with you to determine the whitening procedure that would be most beneficial for your teeth and deliver your desired results. Please contact us for a consultation.