My wife is constantly whitening her teeth. I know this may sound a little over the top, but I’m starting to think she is has an addiction. Sure, her smile is out of this world, but I’m worried she’s doing long-term damage. She’s had in-office Zoom whitening and she maintains it at least once a month with the take home kit. When she runs out of gel, she switches over to whitening strips. Now she says she’s thinking about another in-office treatment. She’s crazy! Is all of this whitening ruining the enamel on her teeth? And if so, will that cause her serious problems? Maybe I’m the crazy one. — Stan
I wouldn’t get too worried just yet. There are lots of people who do touch ups every month or so, especially if they have habits that stain their teeth — like drinking coffee or smoking. Most people, however, only tend to boost their color after about a year. The office gels have a much stronger concentration than anything she can buy over the counter, s she probably uses the strips even more often because she can’t achieve the shade she wants.
Too much teeth whitening can cause problems, like translucent teeth or sensitivity, but if she isn’t experiencing these issues and her dentist gives her the go-ahead for another round of in-office treatment, it should be ok.
On the side of the coin, she could be making her teeth look worse by eating or drinking staining foods to soon after whitening. Teeth have microscopic holes in them that are normally closed up. The whitening/bleaching process opens those holes up and it can take a few days to several weeks for them to close entirely up again. If she eats and drinks staining foods, the teeth can stain easily. It’s best if she avoids them for a couple weeks. If she can’t, she should try rinsing her mouth after consuming staining food and that should slow down the process. Teeth won’t stay white forever, but she can sure control that by being careful with what she eats.
Is she ruining her teeth? Probably not. If the dentist hasn’t shown any concern, she’s probably fine.
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website.