Safe teeth whitening options aren't limited to treatments that you receive in your dentist's office. Many at-home products are available, and are safe if used as directed. The American Dental Association divides safe teeth whitening products into two categories—those that make teeth whiter by bleaching, and those that make teeth whiter by relying on a physical or chemical action.
Know the Risks and Practice Safe Teeth Whitening
Knowing the possible side effects is the first step to safe teeth whitening. The American Dental Association states that the most often reported side effects are tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. (1) But these conditions are usually temporary. Tooth sensitivity is most likely to occur at the beginning of a safe teeth whitening regimen, and it usually subsides over time.
Tips for Safe Teeth Whitening
To reduce your risk of tooth sensitivity when whitening your teeth at home, choose a safe teeth whitening product with no higher than a ten percent concentration of bleach. Gum irritation from safe teeth whitening products usually occurs if you are using trays that don't fit properly. You can reduce your risk of gum irritation by choosing whitening strips that fit more securely to your teeth. Another option is to use a whitening toothpaste for a few weeks first, see how your teeth and gums respond, and then decide whether to try additional safe teeth whitening products. (2) Read the instructions carefully before using teeth whitening products, and use the products only as directed. For more information about safe teeth whitening and choosing the right products, see the Crest 3DWhite collection.
Take Safe Teeth Whitening Seriously
In rare cases, tooth damage occurs even if you follow safe teeth whitening procedures. But severe problems are most likely if you have active gum disease or untreated cavities. If you are uncertain about the condition of your teeth, visit your dentist for advice about safe teeth whitening options. Also, remember that even safe teeth whitening products will not be effective on tooth colored fillings or bonding.