In recent years, home teeth whitening products and kits have become incredibly popular because they are affordable and can be used in the comfort of your own home. We’re often asked if it’s safe to whiten teeth at home. The answer, as with many things in life, isn’t quite as simple as a straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ The truth lies somewhere in the middle, so we have looked at a variety of factors to help you make an informed decision.

What should I consider?

Types of teeth whitening products

Firstly, it’s important to understand that not all home teeth whitening products are created equal. There are a multitude of products available, from whitening toothpaste and strips to gel kits and LED light devices. Some of these products contain mild bleaching agents, typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which can lighten the colour of your teeth.

Safety and effectiveness of different teeth whitening products

When used correctly (which is typically in moderation), these products can be safe. However, the concentration of the whitening agent in over-the-counter products is often much lower than what you would get in a professional dental treatment. This means that, whilst they may pose minimal risk to your oral health, they are also likely to be less effective than professional whitening options which are administered and provided by a cosmetic dentist.

Personal dental health when whitening your teeth

This brings us to the next point: your own dental health. If you have sensitive teeth, receding gums, or any untreated dental issues like cavities or gum disease, whitening your teeth at home could lead to discomfort or even more damage to your teeth and the enamel. 

It’s absolutely crucial to consult with a dental professional before starting any teeth whitening regimen regardless of opting for an at-home kit or a professionally administered treatment. They can assess your oral health and guide you on the safest and most effective method for you, including how to get the right colour and concentration of the product.

Dos and Don’ts with home teeth whitening

Finally, the way you use the product plays a significant role in its safety. Overuse or incorrect use of whitening products can cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. It’s vital to follow the instructions carefully and to avoid the temptation to overdo it in the pursuit of a brighter smile.

Misconceptions: Whiter vs Healthier

A common misconception is that whiter teeth are healthier teeth. However, this is not always the case. Overzealous whitening can strip away the protective enamel of your teeth, leading to increased sensitivity and a higher risk of decay. The quest for a whiter smile should never compromise the health of your teeth, that is why it is always recommended a dentist prescribed whitening as the components of it will never damage your teeth.

Teeth Whitening at Smiles and Smiles

At Smiles and Smiles, we offer teeth whitening treatments to help correct years of staining. The result? You can enjoy a brighter smile that lasts up to three years​. Our process begins with a digital scan of your teeth. This allows us to create custom bleaching trays just for you. Over the course of 10-14 days, you’ll wear these trays filled with a special bleaching solution​​.

This includes your custom trays and a whitening gel, allowing you to continue the process at home​​. It’s important to remember, though, that our teeth whitening services are designed to lighten the natural colour of your teeth. They won’t work on ‘false’ teeth or coverings such as composite bonding, dentures, crowns, or veneers​​.

In Summary: Consult a Professional

In summary, while it can be safe to whiten your teeth at home, it’s not without risks. It is important that you ask your dentist or dental hygienist for your options and that you ensure your teeth are healthy. They can provide personalised advice based on your oral health, ensuring your teeth not only look great but stay healthy too.

The Lasting Smile

Remember, a bright smile is a happy one, but a healthy smile is a lasting one. The journey to a whiter smile should be taken with caution, respecting the strength and health of your teeth. After all, they have to last you a lifetime!