By 2024, it is expected that teeth whitening will become a $7.4 billion industry. In fact, $1.4 billion is spent on over-the-counter teeth whitening products, such as strips, in America alone. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry states that people are usually concerned about the cigarette stains on their teeth, along with those caused by red wine, coffee, and of course, the natural process of aging.
However, many studies have started to suggest that teeth whitening strips can be extremely damaging for teeth. Think about it this way. There are three main layers of the teeth, including the outer white enamel layer, the dentin layer that stores the protein (collagen), and the pulp found in the middle where the nerves and blood vessels hide. Studies show that hydrogen peroxide – the main ingredient in teeth whitening strips – damages the protein layer found within.
Proof that Teeth Whitening Strips Do More Harm than Good
Kelly Keenan from Stockton University conducted a study in which she used teeth whitening strips on extracted human teeth. All packaging instructions were followed, and these strips were left on the teeth for an hour. The teeth were also put in artificial saliva and washed to mimic the experience of teeth in the human mouth.
The collagen and protein levels of the teeth in the dentin layer were looked at after whitening strips had been used. They were compared with unbleached, natural teeth, as well as teeth that had gone through the whitening procedure three times.
It was found that the teeth that had been whitened with the teeth whitening strips had a lower content of protein than the unbleached teeth. The proteins had been broken down into smaller components by the ingredients in the strips.
Moreover, the set of teeth that had been through the strip whitening procedure three times had even smaller collagen levels. This was mainly because of the high levels of hydrogen peroxide that were found in the strips. This ingredient dissolved the original protein and collagen levels of the teeth.
Even though many countries allow the practice of selling and using teeth whitening strips as long as the bleaching agent is not swallowed or over-consumed, experts have shown that they are not safe.
Some common side effects of these strips include tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. Of course, we all know how both of these conditions can be. If the whitening ingredient reaches the cavity of the teeth, this can be particularly painful. It can also cause gum disease. If you’re not careful when using teeth whitening strips, you could also burn your gums or cause white spots to show up.
Instead of trying these strips and risking your health, brush your teeth every day. Get rid of habits that affect your oral health, such as coffee, cigarettes, and wine. If you cannot stop completely, use these in moderation. However, remember to look after your oral health.
In the meantime, you still may want or need to have your teeth whitened. Consider in-office professional teeth whitening at New Wave Accelerated Teeth Whitening in Bethlehem, PA. Our 60 minute treatment is safe, approved, and uses all natural gels. The gels are gluten-free and made fresh here in the USA without preservatives.
Jonathan Erik, Owner, New Wave Accelerated Teeth Whitening Certified Teeth Whitening Technician