The Terrifying Truth of Teeth Whitening

The+Terrifying+Truth+of+Teeth+Whitening

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Many dental companies claim that your teeth will be visibly whiter after using their products . . . but what are the risks?
Photo Credit: Premiere Family Dental (premieredentalwaco.com)

While flipping through the newest edition of Seventeen Magazine, you glance at all the models and notice their looks of perfection, especially their clean, white teeth.  Looking at your own teeth in the mirror, you realize they are less than perfect. You are suddenly tempted to go to the drugstore and buy a teeth whitening product right away.

While sporting pearly whites may be all the rage in Hollywood, many teens are unaware of the harmful effects of teeth whitening, such as permanent damage to the teeth and gums.

According to ABC News, using whitening products excessively can make the edges of your teeth translucent over time, an irreversible effect.

“Your teeth can become very sensitive [after bleaching].  You can harm the gum tissue and burn it away,” cosmetic dentist Dr. Nancy Rosen told ABC News.

Not only that, but the process can be painful.

“I went to the dentist and got my teeth professionally whitened.  My teeth hurt really badly for two days after,” said junior Hannah Gates.  “I am definitely not going to do it again.”

Not everyone who bleaches their teeth has had negative results, however.  According to a survey put together by the American Dental Association, “bleaching is the most requested procedure” in the dental office today.

Edmond R. Hewlett, associate professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry, told ABC News that teeth whitening is perfectly safe. “When used as directed, bleaching does not cause permanent damage to the teeth or gums,” he said.

Junior Bridget Barret got her teeth whitened and did not have any complaints afterwards.

“My teeth didn’t hurt at all,” she said.

Doctors recommend that if you are going to try the whitening process yourself, use products of companies you are familiar with and trust.