The obsession with whiter teeth has taken an alarming spike in the last few years. And more people are bleaching their teeth than ever.
It is estimated that Americans spend almost $1.4 billion on OTC teeth whitening products. The statistics for the amount of money spent on professional whitening sessions at a dentist remain unknown.
But this is a dangerous trend, warn experts because excessive teeth bleaching can leave the teeth enamel eroded and sensitive.
A ‘bleach junkie’ as they are now being called will often have chalky and brittle teeth which are almost translucent at the edges.
Some people who regularly bleach their teeth find that over a period of time, their retainers don’t fit because the teeth have eroded due to excessive use of bleach.
This is because there is not enough information regarding the potentially harmful effects of synthetic whitening.
So, we pop the million dollar question. How much whitening is too much?
The level of whitening
Bleaching is safe when done in moderation. This means that you cannot rush to the dentist or buy OTC products everytime you look in the mirror and see a shade that you don’t like.
The best bet is to whiten your teeth once in 6 to 8 months only. For OTC products, the time duration may be lesser and one can whiten teeth at home once every 4 months.
But the most important part is to follow a strict maintenance routine that will ensure that the degree of whiteness is maintained and not lost due to unhealthy food habits.
Your dentist can guide you on the best food and lifestyle habits to follow after a whitening session.
Avoiding coffee and tobacco alone can ensure that the results last for more than normal.
Draw the line
If you expect your teeth to be porcelain white and are constantly bleaching them hoping to achieve that, then you are probably taking it too far.
The blindingly white teeth that stare back at us from billboards and magazines are the result of cosmetic dental procedures that often cost thousands of dollars.
Unless you are willing to spend that much, it doesn’t make sense to gamble with your dental health.
Try to match your teeth whiteness with the white of your eye and do not overdo the procedure.
Unarguably, teeth bleaching is one of the best procedures to Remove teeth stains. But when done wrong, it can cause pain, weak teeth and lifelong problems.