How Safe is Our Obsession With Teeth Whitening?
The business of teeth whitening has never been more profitable. It seems that the media has become saturated with images of models with pristine, white teeth. So it is understandable the general population is feeling more under pressure to get a set of pearly whites. But, with so many people offering teeth whitening, how can you be sure that you are in safe hands in the quest for a Hollywood smile.
What is teeth whitening?
The process of teeth whitening involves applying bleach to the surface of teeth in order to lighten the colour. It won’t make them brilliantly white, however it will lift the colour substantially, more so after a number of treatments.
Having one session of teeth whitening is unlikely to be enough. It usually takes several visits to your dental practitioner over the course of a few weeks, or even months. First of all, the dentist will take a mould of your teeth, which they will then use to create a custom mouth guard. Once this is created, they will provide you with a gel that contains the whitening bleach. The actual whitening process will take place at home, where you apply the gel into the mouth guard, after being instructed by the dentist on how to do so, then sit back and wait for it to activate. This is then repeated over a number of weeks.
There is another form of teeth whitening, that is performed at the dentist. This is know as laser teeth whitening. It costs more, however it take a lot less time to perform and takes place whilst you are at the dentist. Your practitioner will apply a bleaching gel to your teeth, then a specialist laser is used that intensifies the process, leaving your teeth whiter.
Who can perform teeth whitening?
Contrary to popular belief, teeth whitening is classed as a dental procedure. This means that it should only be performed by a qualified dentist, or by someone under the supervision of a dentist; such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist.
Many beauty salons or beauty therapists are offering teeth whitening as a treatment, however, unless they are performing it under the supervision of a qualified dentist, they may be putting your safety at risk. Beauticians, or any non qualified person practicing dentistry, will not have the necessary medical knowledge to know what to do should you be the victim of dental treatment going wrong.
Any person carrying out teeth whitening who isn’t a dentist, dental hygienist, dental therapist or clinical dental technician, is breaking the law and you should not allow them to perform the treatment on your teeth.
What are the risks of Teeth Whitening?
All teeth whitening procedures carry risks, regardless of who carries out the procedure. These risks includes damage to the gums, increased sensitivity, or damage to the teeth. These risks can be heightened if you already suffer from a pre existing condition, so ensure you run through your past medical and dental history with your dentist.
Georgina Bullock is a freelance writer and research journalist, who specializes in a number of core areas, including beauty, health and well being. Through studying journalism at university, Georgina was introduced to a number of contacts in different industries, where she was able to build her portfolio of both clients and feature articles. She is currently a regular contributor to Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where she researches and writes about the latest trends in aesthetic beauty.