Supermarkets, pharmacies, and beauty supply stores often have shelves full of tooth whitening products, from gels and pastes that you put on your teeth for a certain time, to strips that you wear for several minutes or even overnight. Tooth whitening ingredients are also commonly found in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other oral hygiene products as well.

These products all advertise that they are effective and will help to remove stains from your teeth, and if they're on store shelves they must be approved for consumer use, so why be careful about them and how often you use them? There are a few simple reasons you might note, for the sake of your teeth and your overall oral hygiene.

1. Drying of the mouth

One problem with many tooth whitening products is that they dry the mouth and absorb saliva. Baking soda and peroxide do this, and they are commonly used in tooth whitening products. Saliva is needed to keep your mouth healthy; it washes away food particles and bacteria and in turn, this helps to protect your teeth from decay. When food particles and bacteria settle onto the mouth and teeth, this too can cause bad breath, so drying your mouth with tooth whitening products can mean consistent problems with halitosis.

2. Discoloration

Most tooth whitening products contain products that are supposed to make your teeth white, but in some cases they can actually discolor the teeth. This may result in a permanent change in the teeth to a bluish color rather than pearly white. This may be due to overuse of the product, especially trays that are kept on the teeth for hours.

3. Damage to teeth

A whitening toothpaste may contain silica, which is an abrasive that is used to clean away surface stains. However, this silica also causes damage to the enamel of the tooth. Once enamel is eroded, it does not grow back or heal itself and in turn, the teeth can be more prone to cavities and decay. This risk of damage can be greater the more often a whitening toothpaste is used, and those who want to see results often use it several times per day, increasing this risk of permanent damage.

For real tooth whitening that is safe and which gives you the results you need, it's good to see a dentist at a clinic like Revesby Dental Centre. They may use safer bleaches that work as they should, or they may even have an agent that can be used to paint the teeth rather than bleach them.