Should I Use Bleach to Whiten My Teeth?

Bleach and Towels

At Trillium Dental, we receive a lot of questions from our patients, and we’re happy to offer our expertise to help you understand all aspects of dental health. 

There’s one question that always makes us cringe:

“What is the correct procedure I should follow to apply household bleach to whiten my teeth?”

As Dr. Bill Vuillemot explains, he has spoken with some new patients from time to time who have used household bleach for all kinds of things, including oral hygiene. “As a dentist who has practiced for 32 years, I have to strongly advise that household bleach NOT be used in the mouth!” he says. 

It is imperative to understand that bleach is a highly toxic, dangerous material. Have you ever been trying to whiten your laundry, and spilled a little bit of bleach on your skin? It burns! The active ingredient in bleach is sodium hypochlorite. It’s extremely caustic and toxic to humans when ingested or when the vapors are inhaled. It has been said that sodium hypochlorite is ideally made to destroy living cells by efficiently corroding them into slush, the results referred to as “liquid necrosis”.

Is trying to whiten your teeth with bleach worth the risk and likely occurrence of destroying those very teeth? Don’t take the chance, and the potential result, of being burned, or poisoned, by using a home remedy of household bleach to make your smile brighter. Bleach is highly corrosive and full of damaging chemicals that are absolutely never meant to be near any person’s skin, eyes, or mouth. Avoid the pain and the resulting irreversible damage by leaving that bleach safely stored in the laundry room where it belongs. Trying to utilize it for home remedies has horrible risks. 

What is a good way to whiten your teeth? Luckily, there are many safe alternatives that we highly recommend! They work far better than any home remedy, too! Whitening toothpastes are available over the counter and are a good start to the process. For generic and minor whitening goals, these toothpastes offer easy at-home treatments and visible results with frequent use.

If you’re looking for a faster and more intense whitening process, we recommend our professional bleaching services (not to be confused with Clorox at home, of course!). Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures that can be used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. We use teeth whitening treatments that are safe and relatively painless. Our dentists will explain the pros and cons of each treatment option available. We’ll work with you to determine the best teeth whitening alternative based on the severity of your staining.

We also have special at-home, advanced, prescription-strength bleach strips for whiter teeth. These are ideal for those patients who prefer treatments on their own time and schedules. Our bleach strips are made of thin, flexible, plastic strips with a light film of hydrogen peroxide bleach on one side. Our whitening strip kits come with these strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. Patients use them by applying the strips across their teeth and gently pressing the strips into place to ensure contact with all the teeth. These safe and effective teeth whitening strips are worn for about 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment can vary based on the current color of your teeth and be discussed with our dentists. The ingredients are usually varying concentrations of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, which are great at bleaching organic stains on and just under the surface of dental enamel.  Microscopically, dental enamel is made up of tubules, kind of like a honeycomb matrix, making our treatments ideal choices. There are very effective whitening options offered by dental offices, and some less concentrated (non-prescription) whitening versions that can be purchased over the counter at stores and pharmacies.

When you’re ready to look into the best whitening products for your teeth, talk to your dentist about the options available. Our expertise and years of experience will help you make a positive decision that will optimize your smile, and avoid unnecessary complications. For example, patients should be aware that for many people, bleaching using peroxide products is not a good choice, since in some cases it can cause tooth sensitivity. In that case, for true whitening of the dentition, either porcelain veneers/crowns, or composite bonding may be used. We offer more information about our unique and affordable composite bonding process at SmileBOND.com.

Discuss your oral health goals and find out about your top whitening options by contacting our Lansing dentists today. We are ready to help you achieve your best smile, safely, affordably, and easily! Let’s talk teeth together. Call us at (517) 485-3444 for your initial consultation!

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  • 2524 Lake Lansing Rd., Lansing, Michigan – 48912 United States.
  • (517)485-3444
  • smiles@trilliumdental.com

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