Bleaching is a popular approach to whiten teeth beyond an individual’s natural colour. This can be done safely with the assistance of a dentist, and in moderation. However, excessive bleaching of the teeth can permanently damage them. An obsession with teeth whitening is called “bleachorexia.” Teeth whitening systems contain a bleaching agent (peroxide) that makes teeth appear brighter. If used too frequently, these agents can cause hypersensitivity, oral irritation, and erosion of the tooth enamel.
Teeth whitening can be accomplished through brushing, bleaching strips, pens, gels, and laser bleaching. Some people try to use at-home bleaching kits but a dentist provides the most reliable approach to teeth whitening.
Do I Have Bleachorexia?
When your teeth begin to look translucent, you may have “over-bleached.” You may also experience an increased sensitivity to hot and cold. Obsessive bleaching can also irritate gums, the palate, and throat. The outer coating of teeth wear away from too much bleaching, making you susceptible to tooth decay. This also makes teeth porous.
Those who constantly undergo teeth whitening procedures to make teeth whiter or lessen tooth discolouration are often referred to as “bleachorexics.” If unattended, this condition can adversely affect the health of a person.
If you want white teeth, do it safely and responsibly. Call your dentist for professional tooth whitening services. You can then get results you want (in the safest way possible), and protect your teeth, gums, and overall health.
To prevent over-bleaching your teeth, take these precautions:
- Limit whitening sessions to once every six months. Write the dates you use the products on your calendar.
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth after each teeth whitening procedure, using fresh, clean water.
- Eat foods that are known to help naturally whiten your teeth. Foods rich in malic acid (a chemical that makes fruits and vegetables tangy) act as a natural stain remover. They increase saliva production and scrub the teeth clean.
- Use a gentle, non-abrasive toothpaste (which can help in the rebuilding of your tooth enamel). Talk to your dentist to find one that doesn’t contain too much peroxide.
- Add plenty of green apples and celery to your diet (to reduce bleaching damage to your teeth). Avoid eating carrots and/or drinking coloured juices right after the whitening session to prevent staining the teeth.
Bleaching moderately can give you a bright smile. There is no need to overuse these products. If you’re unsure how to bleach your teeth safely, call a dentist.
Contact Ohana Dental Clinic at (905) 697-3440 to make an appointment for cosmetic dentistry and care for your overall oral health. We offer teeth whitening in Bowmanville, Ontario, and provide family dentistry services.