The Pros and Cons of Teeth Whitening

What Is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a simple procedure where you apply a gel to your teeth and let it sit on the surface of your teeth for about 20-30 minutes. During this time, the gel penetrates into the enamel layer of your teeth, changing the color.

This process removes stains and discolorations without damaging the natural structure of your teeth. You can use home kits or professional treatments.

Pros of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of those things we do because it makes us feel good about ourselves. We want whiter teeth so that we look better and we think that having white teeth makes us healthier. But does it really make us healthier? In fact, there are some pros and cons to consider when choosing whether or not to whiten your teeth.

Here are 6 reasons why you might want to consider whitening your teeth:

1. Teeth whitening makes you feel better about yourself

When you see yourself in a mirror, you probably don’t like what you see. Whether you’re self conscious about your weight, your appearance, or just plain old aging, you’ll feel better about yourself when you see yourself looking better. When you whiten your teeth, you’re essentially changing something about yourself that you don’t like – your smile – into something that you do like. This is a great feeling.


2. Teeth whitening is a simple way to improve your appearance

Whitening your teeth isn’t rocket science. There are lots of ways to do it, but most people choose to use over-the-counter home remedies. They usually contain peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, or sodium bicarbonate. These ingredients work well enough, but they aren’t always safe for everyone.

If you have sensitive gums or gingivitis, you could end up damaging your mouth. And even though toothpaste contains similar chemicals, it’s still recommended that you brush twice daily to keep your teeth clean.

So, unless you’re willing to go to the dentist every day for a few weeks, whitening your teeth is a simple way to improve your appearance without doing too much damage.

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3. Teeth whitening can be safe for everyone

The American Dental Association recommends that children under 12 shouldn’t use whiteners and adults over 45 shouldn’t use whiteners either. However, many dentists recommend whitening teeth for patients over 40 or 50.

Some studies show that whitening can actually help prevent cavities. Other studies show no real benefit. Regardless, whitening your teeth doesn’t cause any long term problems. It’s unlikely that you’ll develop cancer due to the fluoride used in whitening products and it’s possible that you won’t suffer from gum disease.

4. Teeth whitening methods work well

There are two types of teeth whitening: at-home and in-office. At-home whitening involves using a kit that you buy at the store. The kit includes a tray that fits over your teeth, an applicator with a small amount of whitener and instructions on how to use the product. You put the tray over your teeth, let it sit for about 30 minutes, then rinse off the tray. Most kits also include a special gel that you apply before putting the tray back on your teeth.

In-office whitening requires going to the dentist. He or she will take impressions of your teeth and send them away to be made into trays. Then, he or she will fill your trays with whitening solution and place them over your teeth. After a couple of hours, you remove the trays and rinse your teeth.

Both methods work well, but if you’re worried about getting stains on your clothes, you may prefer to get your teeth whitened by a professional.

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5. Teeth whitening works fast

When you whiten your teeth, you’re not just making them look whiter; you’re changing the color of the enamel itself. This means that when you smile, your teeth appear whiter.

While some people say that whitening takes several days, others claim that it only takes a few hours. Either way, you should see results within a week.

6. Teeth whitening is affordable

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get whiter teeth. Many companies sell kits that cost less than $100. You can find these kits at drugstores, grocery stores and online retailers like

When you compare prices between different brands, make sure to consider what kind of guarantee each company offers. For example, one brand might offer a money-back guarantee, while another may not. 

Cons of Teeth Whitening

Now we’ve covered the pros, here are 6 reasons why you may not want to get your teeth whitened:

1. Increased tooth sensitivity

The most common complaint about teeth bleaching products is that it causes tooth sensitivity. This usually occurs within 24 hours of use and resolves itself over several days. However, some people experience longer lasting tooth sensitivity. If you are experiencing long-term tooth sensitivity after whitening, don’t panic. There are ways to address the problem without resorting to costly dental procedures.

Here are 5 things you can do to prevent and treat tooth sensitivity caused by teeth whitening products:

1. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water immediately following application.

2. Avoid brushing your teeth for 30 minutes after treatment.

3. Use baking soda rinses every night for one week.

4. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste.

5. Don’t eat citrus fruits or drink carbonated beverages for 12 hours after treatment.

2. Teeth whitening may not last forever

While many people think that teeth whitening lasts forever, studies show that it fades over time. Some people report that they need to reapply their whiteners every six months. Others say that they need to reapply it every year. It all depends on the person and their lifestyle.

3. Teeth whitening can damage your smile

If you’ve ever had porcelain veneers placed on your teeth, you know that they can change the shape of your smile. When you bleach your teeth, you could damage your new veneers. So, if you want to keep your smile bright, avoid teeth whitening until your veneers are fully healed.

4. Teeth whitening could cause gum problems

Bleaching your teeth can cause gum recession. This happens when gums pull away from the teeth. As a result, the roots of your teeth become exposed. Eventually, these areas begin to decay and form pockets where bacteria thrive. These pockets can lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can eventually lead to tooth loss.

5. Teeth whitening might be dangerous

Some people believe that teeth whitening is safe. They say that it won’t hurt your health in any way. While we agree that teeth whitening isn’t dangerous, we also feel that it could be harmful. The chemicals used in teeth whitening can irritate your skin and eyes. In addition, they can stain clothing and furniture. And if you smoke, you could inhale the chemicals.

6. Teeth whitening doesn’t work for everyone

Teeth whitening works best for those who have naturally white teeth. People with more off-white and stained-looking teeth often require more intense treatments to achieve results. Also, if you have a condition called dentin hypersensitivity, you’ll likely need to try other methods before trying teeth whitening.

Can All Teeth Be Whitened?

Yes! You can whiten all of your teeth. But before you start using a teeth whitener, make sure that you have healthy teeth. If you have cavities, gum disease, or other dental issues, then you shouldn’t try to whiten your teeth. Instead, visit your dentist first so that he/she can help you correct any dental issues. Then, once your teeth are healthy, you can whiten them.

Who Should Avoid Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is one of those things we do because we think it makes us look younger. But there are some serious risks involved, especially if you are pregnant. 

You may not know this, but teeth whiteners contain ingredients that can harm unborn babies. It’s possible that these chemicals could cross the placenta and enter your baby’s bloodstream. That means that your baby could get sick from the chemicals. So, it’s recommended that you avoid teeth whitening if you are pregnant.

If You’re Considering Teeth Whitening, Here’s What You Need to Know First

Before whitening your teeth, it’s important to talk to your dentist about your options. You want to make sure you are getting the most out of your whitening experience, and there are many factors to take into account.

Your dentist can assess your teeth, including what type of tooth enamel you have, how much staining you have and what level of stain removal you desire. This assessment can help determine the best treatment option for you.

Your dentist can also give advice on frequency, because different types of teeth respond differently to whitening treatments. For example, some people have sensitive teeth and might notice a difference in sensitivity after just one application. Others might feel no change in sensitivity even after multiple sessions.

Your dentist can tell you how often you should apply bleaching products to achieve optimal results. Some dentists recommend once per week, while others suggest every three weeks.

Your dentist can provide tips on what you can do during your normal oral hygiene routine to minimize future staining. Regular brushing and flossing can help reduce plaque build-up and prevent further staining.



What is the best way to whiten teeth?

There are two ways to whiten your teeth: with a professional teeth whitening kit or at home with over-the-counter (OTC) products. Professional teeth whitening kits usually come with an applicator brush, tray and whitening gel. These kits work by applying the whitening gel directly to your teeth.

Over-the-counter products use a special light source to activate the whitening agent. OTC products can be used as often as needed, but they aren’t recommended for daily use.

Does whitening teeth hurt?

Yes, teeth whitening does cause discomfort. The whitening process itself doesn’t hurt, but the heat generated by the lamps can be uncomfortable. Your dentist will likely prescribe pain medication to ease the discomfort.

How much does it cost to get my teeth whitened?

It depends on which method you choose. A professional teeth whitening kit costs between $100-$200. An OTC product typically costs around $20-$40.

How many sessions does it take to whiten my teeth?

Most patients need four to six applications to see noticeable improvements. However, each session takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the type of whitener and the amount of time it takes to remove stains.

Do whitened teeth stay white?

No, teeth whitening isn’t permanent. Even though your teeth will appear whiter, they won’t last forever. You’ll still need to maintain good dental habits like brushing and flossing regularly.

How white will my teeth get after whitening?

As long as you follow proper care instructions, you can expect to see a slight increase in tooth brightness. If you want more dramatic changes, you’ll need to repeat the treatment.

How long after teeth whitening can I eat?

After whitening, you’re allowed to eat anything you normally would. There’s no reason to avoid foods that stain your teeth.

What are the long term effects of teeth whitening?

While most people report that their teeth become brighter after whitening, some people experience side effects such as sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, increased gum bleeding and even tooth loss.

Are teeth whitening treatments covered by insurance?

Many dental plans cover teeth whitening procedures. Ask your dentist about whether your plan covers them.

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