I am someone who enjoys getting her teeth whitened. Recently, however, I’ve begun a quest to be more cognizant of the things I put into my body. This has me wondering what effects the chemicals used to whiten my teeth might have on my body. I’ve switched to a more “natural” style of eating, and it feels like seeking out a holistic or natural dentist should be my next logical step. But will it make a difference when it comes to whiteners? Are all whiteners made with harsh chemicals no matter what dentist is using them?
Thanks in advance,
Pauline L., Detroit, MI
It’s great that you’re becoming more vigilant about what goes into your body. And you’re right to question what chemicals are being applied to your teeth. Many people don’t realize this, but when it comes to dentistry there are a lot of products still being used today by “traditional dentists” that are harmful for you. Crazy, right? The reason is many dentists learned to use those products back in dental schools, and if they aren’t the kind of dentist who seeks out the latest information on products and procedures, you don’t reap the benefits of the dental industry’s improvements.
This is where a holistic or natural dentist comes in. These dentists center their entire practice around making sure they are delivering the safest products available to their patients. So if there’s a safe product for whitening your teeth on the market, no doubt a holistic or natural dentist is using it for his/her patients.
But you’re right, no matter what dentist you go to, your teeth whitening products will still contain the basic chemicals. Almost all teeth whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is the stronger of the two. And because of its strength, the whitening agent needs to be applied where it doesn’t come in contact with your gums.
For this reason, hydrogen peroxide is used with in-office teeth whitening treatments. Dentists strategically place whitening trays on your teeth, safely blocking out your gums, which prevents chemicals from being absorbed into your tissue. If you’ve ever felt a burning sensation during your whitening procedure, it’s the whitening agent coming in contact with your skin and you need to have your tray removed.
Carbamide peroxide is the safer of the two chemicals. But it’s also lower in strength, which is why it’s most often used in at-home whitening treatments. Many holistic and natural dentist like the at-home procedure because of its degree of safeness.
If you want to try something more natural, try brushing your teeth with a baking soda and lemon juice mixture and letting it remain on your teeth for only a few moments before rinsing it off well. Do this once or twice a week and you’ll gradually see whiter teeth. It won’t be as noticeable as an in-office treatment, but it’s definitely the most natural option.
Hope this helps!
This blog is sponsored by Buffalo dentist Warren M. Krutchick, DDS.