Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

There is no doubt that teeth whitening leads to much whiter teeth, but is teeth whitening safe?

Unfortunately, this is not an easy question to answer. Although there are side effects of teeth whitening that should be recognized, teeth whitening, which is the restoration of a natural tooth shade, is ultimately a safe process overall.

However, it is essential to have an understanding of the different types of teeth whitening processes and potential side effects of teeth whitening products to prevent using it incorrectly and causing harm to your teeth or gums.

Different Types of Teeth Whitening

In order to ensure you are not damaging your teeth when using procedures and kits to whiten your teeth, it’s important to have an understanding of the different types and when it is best to use each one.

The following are the three main kinds of teeth whitening.

In-office teeth whitening

The most preferred method of teeth whitening is ones that are completed by a dentist. While take home kits and over-the-counter teeth whitening methods carry the risk of user error, having your teeth whitened in-office by a professional is the best way to ensure the process is done correctly and without fault.

Professional whitening kit

In some cases, a dentist might give the patient a whitening kit, which typically includes a whitening gel, syringes to apply the gel and a tray to wear. Although it’s important to follow the directions provided by the dentist directly, using a professional whitening kit at your home is safe and should not lead to side effects if applied correctly.

Over-the-counter whitening

Lastly, there are over-the-counter whitening procedures available, which are becoming more and more prevalent. The most common form of over-the-counter- teeth whitening comes in the form of whitening strips, such as Crest 3D Whitestrips. Although whitening strips work well to keep teeth white, they should not be used on individuals who have cavities, weak enamel or sensitive gums as they can lead to side effects.

Potential Side Effects of Teeth Whitening

For the most part, teeth whitening procedures are completely safe and do not pose a threat to an individual's long-term dental health. With that said, teeth whitening can lead to temporary side effects if applied incorrectly.

Anyone who suffers from cavities, weak enamel or sensitive teeth or gums should consult with a dentist before starting a teeth whitening procedure.

Irritation of gums

The most common side effect of teeth whitening, although it is still somewhat uncommon, is irritation of the gums.

In the event the teeth whitening is applied incorrectly, whether it is through the use of gel and trays or strips, the gums may be targeted and suffer irritability brought on by the whitening solution, which is typically comprised of bleach.

Teeth sensitivity

Teeth sensitivity is common when teeth whitening is applied to weak enamel or teeth that have cavities, which is why it’s important to consult with a dentist before whitening your teeth if you suffer from weakened enamel.

In most cases, dentists can clean and whiten your teeth manually if you suffer from weakened enamel.

Are you considering teeth whitening in the Forest Hills area? Get more teeth whitening information at

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