As more and more people become more health-conscious, they are starting to ask us questions about whether teeth whitening and can damage enamel. In this post, our Edmonton dentists discuss teeth-whitening procedures and whether or not they pose a risk to teeth health.
If you start to notice a yellow tint in your teeth, you might be unsure of the suitability of a teeth-whitening procedure for you. Continue reading if you are worried that the procedure will harm your teeth.
What is tooth enamel?
The tooth's delicate outer layer is called tooth enamel. The tooth's hard outer surface, which is visible from the gum and covers the crown, is its first line of defence against damage. Because enamel covers the inner part of the tooth, it is vulnerable to abrasion and eventual deterioration. The main contributor to enamel erosion is exposure to sugar, starches, or acidic substances.
Can I stop my enamel from breaking down?
Enamel is tough, but it's not indestructible. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help slow or even halt the process of enamel breakdown.
One of the simpler ways to curb enamel breakdown is to stop eating and drinking sugary and/or acidic beverages. When these sugary drinks interact with the tooth, they produce a lactic acid that can chip away at the enamel over time.
Even having acid reflux, a dry mouth, or being on medications can sometimes cause tooth enamel to break down. Visiting your doctor to have health issues like these diagnosed and treated, and learning about the potential side effects of medications you are taking, are important steps in protecting your enamel, and your overall health too!
Friction caused by teeth grinding, brushing too hard, or eating hard foods can also damage tooth enamel. If you grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about a nightguard. Be sure to brush your teeth slowly and carefully, using a circular rather than a sawing motion. And if you have a habit of chewing on things like pen caps, ice, or your fingernails, start working on breaking it!
Finally, the most important thing you can do to preserve your dental enamel is to maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque buildup that can eat away at your enamel. If you're extra concerned, you can talk to your dentist about enamel-strengthening products, like toothpaste and mouthwash, to help keep erosion at bay.
What are some signs of enamel erosion?
The sensitivity to certain foods, sensitivity to hot or cold, discoloration, rough or jagged teeth, and indentations on the surface of your teeth are some of the more typical signs of enamel erosion.
Will teeth whitening damage my enamel?
When applied under the supervision of a dental professional or by their direction, teeth whitening treatments should not damage your enamel.
That being said, if used in excess or incorrectly, teeth whitening agents can be damaging to your enamel, so always take extra care to follow your dentist's directions when using your at-home teeth whitening trays. If you have questions, be sure to contact your dentist.