Our smile is an important part of who we are. It is the first thing people notice when we meet. Therefore more people want a white, bright smile to feel good about themselves. Teeth whitening products have become very popular including teeth whitening strips. But are they safe to use? New studies reveal they may not be safe. Our teeth are not all uniformly white and vary from individual to individual naturally. The reality is most teeth are different hues and shades and many tend towards the yellow spectrum. In the western world, we want uniform white teeth.
It has become a symbol of beauty for many. It is believed somewhere around 40 million people in the USA alone used teeth whitening products in 2018. This shows teeth whitening popularity in just the United States. Cosmetic dentists are uniquely prepared to give patients the smile they want. However, many may choose to use over the counter products like teeth whitening strips.
Dangers Of Teeth Whitening
Numerous studies have shown that teeth whitening with bleaching products that contain hydrogen peroxide can possibly cause damage to our teeth. These studies specifically looked at how teeth whitening strips, which people can buy at local pharmacies, damage one of the teeth’s three layers.
Teeth whitening strips generally contain hydrogen peroxide as the main active whitening ingredient. This substance is an oxidizing agent that can be used as a sterilizer, although more people may know it as a color-lightening agent. This is also what is used to bleach hair. If a person were to overuse this product or use too much to lighten hair color, it can cause “significant damage” to the scalp and hair. Researchers have discovered how hydrogen peroxide damages dentin (layer just below the enamel of our teeth). A human tooth contains three (3) different layers: external enamel layer, a dentin layer in the middle, and an inner layer that is mainly connective tissue, which helps maintain the tooth’s position in the mouth.