The Hidden Dangers Of Over-the-Counter Tooth Whiteners

Dentist Blog

Browse the toothpaste or mouth care aisle of any supermarket or pharmacy today and you'll see row after row of tooth whitening products. Additionally, whitening ingredients are now commonly found in toothpaste and mouthwash. It seems as if everything you use to clean your teeth today offers to get them pearly white as well, and most products will say that they're safe for regular use.

While those products may claim that they're safe, it's good to consider if those claims are really true and how they can cause damage to your teeth. Note a few of the hidden dangers of most over-the-counter tooth whiteners on the market today.

1. They may scratch your teeth

Tooth whitening products may contain baking soda, which promises to remove surface stains and make your mouth healthy and clean. However, baking soda is very abrasive and it may scratch the surface of your teeth. This in turn can slowly erode the tooth enamel.

While the small amounts of baking soda that are in most toothpastes and other such products will not do a tremendous amount of damage at once, if you use these regularly then you may see this damage to your enamel over time. Since enamel protects your teeth, they may then be more prone to chips and cracks.

2. They may dry your mouth

Baking soda and peroxide, two common ingredients in tooth whitening products, may tend to dry your mouth over time. When your mouth is dry you may see more cavities form, as saliva helps to wash away bacteria and other elements that eat away at healthy teeth. A dry mouth can also mean bad breath, as these germs and bacteria are what typically cause halitosis. The more you brush with these ingredients or use rinses with baking soda and peroxide, the dryer your mouth will be over time.

3. They may contain added sugar

Sugar is often added to toothpaste and mouthwash in order to make it taste better, and if these products contain tooth whitening ingredients then they may also contain more sugar to make them more palatable. Baking soda, peroxide and other common ingredients added to these products have a very dry and bitter taste, so sugar may be used to cover this taste. This sugar can cause tooth erosion and cavities to form.

If you're concerned about the appearance of your teeth then it's best to have a specialist like Dental 777 Maddington perform a tooth whitening procedure. This will give you the results you want while still protecting your teeth from damage.


16 March 2015

Teeth And Tears: Dental Dramas Of A School Nurse

I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.