Can Teeth Whitening Turn You Into a Bleachorexic?
British teeth have always been a bit of a joke to our American cousins, who seem obsessed with having perfect gnashers. But in the last few years, teeth bleaching or whitening has exploded in the UK, with more and more of us turning to toothpaste and kits that promise pearly whites.
When whitening is done properly, it’s a safe way of improving the appearance of your teeth. But if it’s done without professional supervision, or with the wrong product, whitening can cause enamel erosion, receding gums and infection.
Over-bleaching and “bleachorexia”
The media have reported cases of “bleachorexia” – where people become obsessed with using teeth whitening products. The term is most likely to be a way of whipping up catchy headlines. But over-bleaching and illegal home whitening kits cause very real problems.
Teeth sensitivity, receding gums, and loss of tooth enamel are the side effects you could experience. Enamel, once damaged, does not grow back. So it’s vital you take care of your teeth and only have whitening done by your dentist.
Illegal tooth whitening
Unfortunately, the demand for Hollywood smiles led to unqualified and unregulated operators such as beauticians offering teeth whitening services.
This led to people suffering painful, and often irreversible damage to their teeth and gums prompting a change in the law.
Teeth whitening and the law
The active ingredient in most professional whitening products is hydrogen peroxide.
It’s illegal for anyone to use hydrogen peroxide in concentrations higher than 6 percent since an EU council directive in 2012. Use in concentrations over 0.1 percent can only be administered by a dental professional.
Dentist’s teeth whitening
When you visit Wickersley Dental Practice for teeth whitening, we check your teeth are suitable for treatment. This protects your teeth and gums from damage.
The next step is to make a mould of your teeth from which we make a custom mouth tray. This tray will hold the hydrogen peroxide gel ensuring even coverage over all your teeth and minimise contact with your gums.
We will supervise your treatment, so if you experience any problems you can get professional advice and support. And you can keep your custom mouth trays for top up whitening. Professional whitening can last for up to three years. Contact our practice today.
Posted by Wickersley Dental Practice on 6th May 2015, under Teeth Whitening