Rows of store shelves contain tons of over-the-counter products to whiten your teeth, but are these products harmless? If you’re considering tooth whitening Frankston dentists say those home products could wear down your tooth enamel.
You know how some products appear to be an easy and affordable answer to our wants and needs. Well, many of those products end up costing us a ton of money in the long run.
What is Enamel?
Enamel is a mixture of calcium, phosphorus, sodium and magnesium and is the hardest material found in the body. It is a thin outer layer of all the teeth and covers and protects the dentin.
Enamel consists of dead cells and no longer contains nerve tissue. Despite this hardness, it still can be vulnerable.
Why is the Protective Cover So Important to Your Dental Health?
Every day, teeth are exposed to the abuse of acidic foods. However, your saliva, with all its enzymes, help neutralize the acidic pH value in the mouth, while helping to protect the teeth and enamel. The loss of enamel is permanent and cannot be repaired by the body.
Various elements can cause the degradation of enamel, including home bleaching products.
Certain foods, such as red wine or coffee, are often responsible for the unsightly discolorations and stains on teeth. In addition, the intake of certain iron and nitrate-containing medicines can lead to the incorporation of color pigments. Even if you are not a coffee drinker, or do not take regular medications, your teeth can darken due to age.
There is a wide range of teeth whitening products on the market including toothpastes, dental kits and whitening strips, and each come with different problems.
Toothpastes are slightly abrasive, which will help remove stains from your teeth on the surface but will also break down enamel over time.
Dental kits contain molds that fit the shape of the mouth. The procedure is simple: the gel is distributed along the mold and placed on the teeth for a certain time. The problem is that there is not a sufficient concentration of any chemical to be able to offer a real result.
Normally, all teeth whitening products have one ingredient in common: hydrogen peroxide. Legally, any dental bleach purchased without a prescription cannot contain hydrogen peroxide greater than 0.1 percent. But research shows that patients need to use a product with hydrogen peroxide of at least 3.6% to be able to see a substantial improvement in whitening their teeth.
Therefore, it is highly unlikely that any kit that we buy over-the-counter will offer more improvement than a dentist can provide.
It’s always advisable to consult with a dentist before proceeding to perform teeth whitening. A dentist can provide insight into the health of your teeth and gums, and whether a whitening product should be used.
Even if you’re more interested in performing the task at home, a prescription tooth whitening product from a dentist will work much better than opting for store-bought products.