Are you always on the quest for white teeth? If you are passionate about having pearly-white pearly whites and find yourself reaching for the bleaching strips or whitening toothpaste multiple times per week, you may suffer from a condition known as bleachorexia.
What Is Bleachorexia?
Bleachorexia is the name that some dentists use to describe the fixation that some people develop in their quest to achieve whiter teeth. People with bleachorexia often overuse tooth-whitening products, which may put them in danger of damaging their teeth and their overall oral health.
But Aren’t Tooth-Whitening Products Safe?
Many tooth-whitening products are perfectly safe when used in moderation and under the advice of a dentist. Using tooth-whitening products too frequently can weaken tooth enamel and make teeth more sensitive to hot and cold foods. Weakened tooth enamel is also more susceptible to tooth decay.
Using tooth-whitening products too frequently can also cause enamel to become thin, which allows the yellow dentin, the bone-like substance just under the tooth enamel, to be seen.
When dentin is visible, teeth end up with a yellow appearance – which is the exact opposite result that people seeking white smiles want!
Another consequence of using tooth-whitening products too often or using products that contain very high amounts of bleaching agents is that they can lead to irritation and even burns of the gums, tongue and throat.
What Tooth-Whitening Products Are Safe?
There are some tooth-whitening products sold over the counter and over the internet that may contain very high concentrations of bleaching agents and may not be safe to use. These products are not considered safe to use by the American Dental Association.
Tooth-whitening products approved by the ADA include:
In-office tooth whitening. This procedure is performed in the dentist’s office and takes between 30 minutes and one hour. During the procedure, a bleaching agent gel is applied to the teeth and a special light is used to speed up the whitening process.
At-home tooth-whitening kits. Dr. Caracioni offers take-home whitening kits for patients who want to whiten their teeth but want to get them in the privacy and comfort of their own home. Take-home tooth-whitening kits use a gel bleaching agent and a custom-fit mouth guard. Most take-home kits are worn once a day or overnight for a determined period to reach the desired shade.
Whitening toothpaste. Toothpaste approved for tooth whitening by the ADA are safe for everyday use because they do not contain bleaching agents. These products whiten your teeth by cleaning them more deeply than regular toothpaste.
Do you want to whiten your teeth? Talk to Dr. Caracioni today about a take-home whitening kit. Call 785-783-0741 to schedule your consultation.