Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Take one look in a glossy magazine or at the latest movie release and you won’t help but notice that all the actors have perfectly formed and gleaming white teeth. It’s a phenomenon known as the Hollywood smile and it can be expensive to get it.

In fact, unless your teeth are already in the right position and aren’t chipped, cracked, r generally worn, you’ll probably be looking at getting some veneers.

For most people this isn’t an option, but, they can still achieve shiny white teeth by using one of the several options for teeth whitening. However, it is a good idea to speak to a good local dentist, such as this dentist in Little Bay, before starting tooth whitening. They’ll be able to help advise you if it’s safe and monitor your progress.

The types of Tooth Whitening

There are 3 main types of whitening you should know about.


You’ll find plenty of toothpastes on sale with all the other toothpastes that advertise tooth whitening. These toothpastes will contain small traces of grit and abrasive material that are perfectly safe to go into your mouth. The abrasives rub against your teeth, helping to remove stains and restore your original coloration.

In fact, most of these toothpastes also have polishing agents of chemicals that boost the whitening ability of the toothpaste.

They do work to clear surface stains but will take a few weeks to be effective.

Gels & strips

You can also purchase these over-the-counter and then use them at home. The gel is applied to your teeth with a small brush and then left in place for a set amount of time. The exact timing will depend on the strength of the hydrogen peroxide in the gel. You’ll need to follow the manufacturers instructions. 

It’s normal to apply these gels twice a day and for it to take a few days before the whitening effect is visible. You will also be advised to continue using the gel for approximately 2 weeks and then the results should last approximately 4 months. 


This is the most effective way to whiten your teeth and should be done by a professional, although it is possible to get home kits that contain a bleaching agent.

In effect, this is a stronger version of the gels and strips you can buy over-the-counter. Home versions have approximately 10-20% hydrogen peroxide, the ones at the dentist will be as high as 3%.

The critical difference between home and dentist-based treatments is that dental versions of the gel will usually have a barrier incorporated to protect your enamel.

Safety First

Is it safe to whiten your teeth? In reality, you have to proceed with caution, only the dental approach s really safe. The at-home methods all whiten teeth by damaging your top layer of enamel. That’s the hard substance that protects your teeth. If this becomes too worn down bacteria will find it easier to get into your teeth and cause damage to the dentin and your nerves. This can potentially result in a lot of expensive dental work.

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