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How to Use Teeth Whitening Kits Safely

Like I said, home whitening kits have become very popular nowadays since almost everyone wants to enhance their appearance by having a pearly white teeth.  But to produce good results, whitening kits should be used and applied correctly.

Before, most tooth whitening systems were done in dental clinics and performed by qualified professionals.  But nowadays, several teeth whitening products are available to consumers in different applications such as strips, paint-on or tray kits.  In Canada, all teeth whitening systems are considered cosmetics, thus Health Canada requires all teeth whitening manufacturers to submit a cosmetic notification with safety and labeling information.  The information are reviewed thoroughly by Health Canada to ensure the safety of a cosmetic products.  This home whitening kits are also the ones being used by dentists, just that its concentration are lower to those used by professionals.  But if you want to have a higher concentration, it must be done by a professional to ensure that the process is correct.  They can also give instructions on how to use the take-home whitening products.

How tooth whiteners work?

Peroxide or peroxide generating compounds are the main ingredients in teeth whitening system.  Some includes hydrogen peroxide, carbomide peroxide or urea peroxide.  The latter two are the most common ingredient and are thrice less potent than hydrogen peroxide.  Peroxide acts on the surface of the tooth as well as the next layer below the dentin.  If you want to have the best results, choose a whitener that has more peroxide.  But take note that teeth whiteners will only be effective on natural teeth and not on caps, crowns, veneer, fillings or dentures.  It will last for about six months and should not be used often, twice a year is recommendable.

The health risks of home tooth whitening kits

Studies show that home teeth whitening kits are not harmful when applied correctly and as directed.  There are also no adverse effects on tooth structure but it is always important to follow directions and to be aware of the product’s information.  It can be used for 14 days without dentist’s supervision.  In some individuals, tooth whitening products causes tooth sensitivity, although it is only temporary.

Minimizing Your Risk

  • Read and follow instructions indicated on the product label
  • Do not use tooth whitening product for more than 14 days without consulting a dental professional.
  • If you will experience tooth sensitivity, you can try these measures, starting with the first.
  • Decrease your use into half of the recommended duration. For example, instead of 60 minutes, make it only 30 minutes.
  • Discontinue use then resume use.
  • Stop using the whitener and consult a dentist.
  • Before using a tooth whitener, consult your dentist if you’ve had dental problems, infections or recent work on your teeth, or if you already suffered from tooth sensitivity.
  • You should not use tooth whiteners if you are pregnant, have mouth or gum disease or have teeth stained by medication.
  • Discontinue use if there is an adverse effect.
  • Determine whether you should seek medical attention for the adverse effect.
  • Keep the product that caused adverse effect and submit it to your dental professional and Health Canada.
  • After medical attention has been sought (if needed ), contact your Regional Product Safety Office.