As celebrities continue to flash their brilliantly white smiles across television screens and magazines, more and more people are turning to their dentists for help in whitening their teeth. In fact, Americans are spending billions of dollars on tooth-whitening products. Sales of over-the-country whitening products have hit levels of over $1.4 billion.
But at what point is it too much? Is it possible for your teeth to be, in fact, too white?
The truth is, teeth whitening products, for the most part, are harmless when used in moderation. Those offered through the dental office or in the form of over-the-counter strips or paint-on applications are fairly safe if they are not abused. The problems usually lie in over-the-counter tray systems that are sometimes sold through infomercials. These allow the whitening product to get in contact with the gums much more easily than other products, and that has the potential to damage the gum line.
Dr. Grabiak warns patients that moderation is important when it comes to teeth whitening. He recommends patients use professional treatments once per year, and stick to every couple of day applications of at-home treatments. The bleaching agents in tooth whitening products can eventually damage tooth enamel, and that damage is irreversible. It can also increase tooth sensitivity. If the products are used daily for the long term, the teeth can become brittle, dehydrated, and actually more prone to stains.
But can teeth get too white? Probably not, because the teeth have a limit as to how white they can get. The real issue surrounding whitening products is whether or not the chemicals are damaging the enamel. Remember, the white teeth you see on magazine covers in the supermarket are probably photoshopped or created through veneers anyway, so use caution with the over-use of teeth whitening products, and remember that your teeth will be as white as they can be, and not any whiter.