Teeth whitening is a fairly popular procedure; it can be a good way of getting the bright and sparkling white smile that you dream of. However it’s important to remember that the results of teeth whitening can vary from person to person. People who have healthy gums and teeth, no restoration and a yellow rather than a blue/grey tinge to their teeth, are most likely to see the best results.
If you are thinking of having your teeth whitened you can find more information here. In the meantime we are going to take a look at how the enamel on your teeth is affected by the teeth whitening process and whether any damage is done.
How does the bleaching process work on tooth enamel?
If you have your teeth whitened the bleaching agent permeates the enamel on your teeth. It then works from the inside of the enamel out to lighten the pigment; it does not remove any of the enamel. As long as teeth whitening products are used in the correct manner they do no harm to the enamel on your teeth.
What about if your enamel is already damaged?
If the enamel on your teeth is worn away you may be advised not to have your teeth whitened. This is because the bleaching agent works on the enamel of your teeth. Obviously, if the enamel is worn away, the process will not work as it should.
On what other occasions might you be advices against tooth whitening?
Although most people are able to get their teeth whitened it is not recommended if you are under sixteen years of age, if you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. You should also not have your teeth whitened if you are allergic to peroxide as the substance is present in the bleaching agents that are used in the whitening process. If you have gum disease the dentist will also often recommend against having your teeth whitened.
It’s also worth noting that if you have any restoration to your teeth, such as fillings or veneers, they will not be whitened. The bleaching agent only works on the enamel of your natural teeth. If you want to have fillings or veneers replaced, so they look fresh and white, you have to wait for at least two weeks after the whitening procedure is completed. This is because the process affects the effectiveness of the bonding of fillings and veneers with the enamel on your teeth.
You can see that teeth whitening should not have any adverse effect on your tooth enamel, although it may not be effective if the enamel is already worn. If you have any doubts about the effects of teeth whitening then you should discuss them with the dentist before having the process completed, to put your mind at rest.