advertisement

Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Is It Safe to Whiten Your Smile?
Are at-home tooth bleaching kits on the market safe to use? If I'm filtering chlorine out of my water, should I be putting some other bleaching agent in my mouth?
A
Answer (Published 4/6/2004)

Tooth whitening is becoming more and more popular, particularly with the availability of the bleaching kits for do-it-yourself, at-home treatment. But before investing in one of them, I suggest checking with your dentist to find out whether whitening is appropriate for you. According to the American Dental Association, you're likely to get the best results if your teeth are yellowish. Bleaching doesn't work as well on teeth that have a naturally brown or grey hue. Tooth whitening (whether you do it yourself or have it done by your dentist) can brighten teeth stained as a result of drinking coffee, tea, soda or red wine as well as teeth darkened as a result of aging and those stained as a result of smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco. However, if you have had bonding or have tooth-colored fillings in your front teeth, the whitening won't  "take" on those materials, which will contrast with your other, newly whitened teeth.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet! - Everything you need to get started eating a healthful, satisfying diet is here - including eating and shopping guides, over 300 recipes, and an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid! Start your 14-day free trial now - and start eating anti-inflammatory today!

At-home bleaching solutions use carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent. While this is generally considered safe, you may notice some tooth sensitivity while using it. My (holistic) dentist, Steve Swidler, tells me that over time bleaching might break down the integrity of the teeth, leaving them porous and more susceptible to future stains.

Another concern: there's a chance that the bleach could travel through a deep cavity to a tooth's root and set off a toothache or trigger an infection. Bleaching could also result in some soft-tissue shrinkage among people with periodontal disease. Beyond that, we don't yet have long-term safety data on these products.

As far as the chlorine in water is concerned, it isn't relevant. The low levels of chlorine in drinking water are there to kill germs and have nothing to do with the color of our teeth.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Follow Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet and save 30%. Start your 14-day free trial now!

Stay Connected with Dr. Weil
Promote the health of your body, mind and spirit - sign up for Dr. Weil's FREE newsletters today!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

 
Copyright © 2016 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here

  

Q & A Library



Q
Is It Safe to Whiten Your Smile?
Are at-home tooth bleaching kits on the market safe to use? If I'm filtering chlorine out of my water, should I be putting some other bleaching agent in my mouth?
A
Answer (Published 4/6/2004)

Tooth whitening is becoming more and more popular, particularly with the availability of the bleaching kits for do-it-yourself, at-home treatment. But before investing in one of them, I suggest checking with your dentist to find out whether whitening is appropriate for you. According to the American Dental Association, you're likely to get the best results if your teeth are yellowish. Bleaching doesn't work as well on teeth that have a naturally brown or grey hue. Tooth whitening (whether you do it yourself or have it done by your dentist) can brighten teeth stained as a result of drinking coffee, tea, soda or red wine as well as teeth darkened as a result of aging and those stained as a result of smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco. However, if you have had bonding or have tooth-colored fillings in your front teeth, the whitening won't  "take" on those materials, which will contrast with your other, newly whitened teeth.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet! - Everything you need to get started eating a healthful, satisfying diet is here - including eating and shopping guides, over 300 recipes, and an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid! Start your 14-day free trial now - and start eating anti-inflammatory today!

At-home bleaching solutions use carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent. While this is generally considered safe, you may notice some tooth sensitivity while using it. My (holistic) dentist, Steve Swidler, tells me that over time bleaching might break down the integrity of the teeth, leaving them porous and more susceptible to future stains.

Another concern: there's a chance that the bleach could travel through a deep cavity to a tooth's root and set off a toothache or trigger an infection. Bleaching could also result in some soft-tissue shrinkage among people with periodontal disease. Beyond that, we don't yet have long-term safety data on these products.

As far as the chlorine in water is concerned, it isn't relevant. The low levels of chlorine in drinking water are there to kill germs and have nothing to do with the color of our teeth.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.