Will Home Teeth Whitening Actually Harm Your Teeth?

9 February 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


The two kinds of teeth discoloration that you may be experiencing are natural discoloration caused from normal wear, and surface level stains on your enamel. Home whitening solutions may be great for removing or reducing those surface level stains, but are not so effective at correcting discoloration from normal wear. Don't rush into trying a home whitening. Understand the potential harm it can cause, and consider professional whitening instead.

Natural Color Vs. Stains

The information pamphlet that comes with home whitening solutions will mention the foods that can cause staining, such as tea, coffee, and red wine. You may consume these items, but it does not mean they have caused surface level staining. These kind of foods can cause damage to the tooth enamel as well due to the acidity of them.

Surface level stains are caused from food pigment remains that got on the enamel from drinking, eating, and smoking. Even whitening toothpastes can help remove the surface level stains that they leave behind, but they won't correct the damage that those things have caused.

Tooth enamel provides protection from damage and decay, but also plays a key role in creating your teeth's pearly white color. A home whitening solution can thin out the tooth enamel, which will make it more transparent. The end result can be that yellow dentin underneath the enamel will start to show through it.

Enamel Damage

Even though tooth enamel is incredibly strong, it can become damaged fairly easily. Care must be taken before attempting home remedies that involve using baking soda to remove those stains, because baking soda can cause damage to the enamel since it is so abrasive. You cannot alter the color of dentin with baking soda, so discoloration caused by enamel damage can potentially become worse.

Home bleaching kits aren't a safe way to whiten teeth either. A study has shown that 5 home bleaching kits caused enamel to be significantly weaker after using the treatment.

Safe Whitening Solution

The advantage of going to a dentist for teeth whitening is that you will be working with someone that is an expert when it comes to your teeth. You'll avoid problems such as accidentally overdoing treatment, which means your chance of permanently ruining your enamel is much lower. A dentist also offers treatments that use ultraviolet light, which do not damage the enamel.

Schedule a consultation with your dentist to learn about the cosmetic dentistry whitening treatment that will be best for your teeth.