What is ‘Bleachorexia’? It is the new coined phrase to describe obsessive teeth whitening. Dr. Phillips wanted to address the media concerns about Bleachorexia and just how much teeth bleaching is safe for you.
“The ADA recommends that if you choose to use a bleaching product, you should only do so after consultation with a dentist. This is especially important for patients with many fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains. A thorough oral examination, performed by a licensed dentist, is essential to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment. The dentist and patient together can determine the most appropriate treatment. The dentist may then advise the patient and supervise the use of bleaching agents within the context of a comprehensive, appropriately sequenced treatment plan … Patients should be cautioned that not enough information is available to support unsupervised long-term and/or repeated use of bleaching products,” the ADA told ABC News.
Check out the whole store on ABC’s The Morning Stir’s episode called “Teeth Whitening Gone Too Far – Dangers of Bleachorexia” (video segment below).
Overbleaching is common and it can lead to oversensitivity and even gum recession. Too much bleaching can also have an adverse effect, leaving teeth with a darker appearance. Bleachorexia means that some people are literally obsessed with obtaining a megawatt smile. One LA dentist reported that he’d even heard of people rubbing Clorox bleach on their teeth.
Here’s what Dr. Phillips recommends with regard to any at-home whitening products. Choose a product with a peroxide level ranging from 12% to 15%. If the product doesn’t bother your mouth but doesn’t provide the lightening effect you want, you can choose a higher level.
Don’t leave the strips or gels on longer than advised — you might wind up with sore gums and set yourself up for other problems.
After you whiten, avoid soda, sports drinks, or other acidic beverages for a couple of hours to protect your teeth.
When Not to Whiten
To be on the safe side, pregnant women or nursing mothers should postpone teeth whitening.
Porcelain or composite dental crowns and bondings won’t lighten up. So if you change the color of the teeth around them, you might wind up with an uneven smile.
Protect Sensitive Teeth
Your teeth may become mildly sensitive after you whiten, but it’s usually short term. It might be less of an issue if your teeth and gums are in good shape. If it bothers you, stop the treatment and talk to your dentist.
Gel-filled trays, which you wear over your teeth like a mouth guard, can also bother your gums if they don’t fit well. It’s a good idea to stop using the product if you start having this problem.
If you have any questions about teeth whitening, Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth dentist can help you find the whitener that best fits your needs.