Your Dental Health: How White Is Too White?

By Kelsey – May 2, 2011

Lately, it seems like a blindingly white smile is more important than ever. We feel like white teeth are crucial for social interaction, and a study conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that the majority of adults believe an unattractive smile would hurt their chances for career success.

And the deluge of glistening smiles in the media doesn’t do anything to discourage these feelings.

Am I right?

Our smiles are important to us, and teeth whitening remains one of the most economical ways to enhance your smile. But what happens when you take whiter teeth to the extreme? Some dentists have raised concerns that patients are taking whitening strips and other bleaching methods to the extreme.

Signs that you might be taking things to the extreme include:

-Sensitive enamel
-Red, irritated gums
-Hot and cold sensitivity on your teeth
-A bluish-white translucent appearance on the edges of your teeth.

If you have an area where your tooth is open due to a cavity, then bleach can travel directly into the pulp and potentially cause the nerve of the tooth to die.

But you can still whiten safely. Just be cautious with how often you’re having your teeth whitened, whether it’s professionally or over-the-counter. Also be careful with abrasive whitening toothpastes, which will increase sensitivity.

For more information on safe teeth whitening, click here.

 
 

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