Teeth Whitening: What You Need to Know
Tooth whitening treatments have gained in popularity in recent years as people try to reverse the effects that years of drinking coffee, tea, red wine, smoking, and even simply the process of aging have had on their teeth. There are an assortment of professional whitening treatments available at dental offices. In addition, store shelves are full of over-the-counter products that people can purchase to use at home.
While professional treatments overseen by a dentist are usually safe, the safety record of over-the-counter treatments is questionable at best. Overuse of OTC products or lack of experience in using them can lead to unpleasant side effects including gum irritation and extreme tooth sensitivity. In fact, Europe has outlawed the sale of over-the-counter whitening products due to concerns about patient health. All whitening treatments in Europe must now be directly supervised by a dentist and proceeded by a dental exam.
As a result of the new attention being paid to the safety aspects of teeth whitening, manufacturers have begun focusing on stain prevention as well as minimizing the unpleasant side effects of their treatments. Specifically, nano-hydroxyapatite (nHAp) is now being used to remineralize and repair weakened enamel, as well as to form a coating that protects the teeth from acid erosion. In addition, nHAp that is applied to teeth prior to whitening significantly reduces the tooth sensitivity that ordinarily accompanies whitening treatments. Thanks to these changes, it is now possible to undergo whitening treatments without experiencing the unpleasant side effects.
To learn more about advancements in teeth whitening, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
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