THE most common question I get asked as a dentist is “Is whitening your teeth safe?”
Interestingly I get asked this question most often by friends and family rather than patients of mine. It’s usually at a party – for some reason, people are curious about whitening when they’ve had a few to drink it seems.
So to answer the age old question is tooth whitening safe? The answer is 100% YES. According to all the best available scientific evidence. If done by a dentist, whitening is safe for your teeth and does not damage enamel. Here are just a handful of high quality studies to demonstrate this – I have specified the year of the publications as well so you can see over the years nothing has changed. Time and time again the evidence shows whitening is safe:
- A 2008 study: http://www.jopdentonline.org/doi/pdf/10.2341/07-150
- A 2006 study: http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v200/n7/abs/4813423a.html
- A 2004 study: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S009923990560283X
- A 1991 study: http://www.pnlee.co.uk/documents/fjcr_cv/kelleh1999.pdf
- A 1981 study: http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/60/5/948.short
Where did this mother’s tale come from?
The reason why people are misled to think whitening damages your teeth is because it causes sensitivity. Sensitivity does not mean the teeth are getting damaged. Sensitivity is a sign that the whitening is working! It’s only temporary while you are whitening your teeth and as soon as you finish, the sensitivity immediately stops.