Several large news organizations are now reporting that teeth whitening products are unsafe and will do damage to your teeth.
Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.
The news stems from a recent study showing that hydrogen peroxide, the primary ingredient in teeth whitening products, can break collagen down into smaller proteins. Collagen is a type of protein found in dentin. Dentin, is the layer of material below teeth enamel. It’s the layer that makes teeth white.
However, the study did not say what effects this would have over a person’s lifetime. It didn’t say if these effects are permanent. Moreover, the study was performed on extracted teeth from cadavers, not live teeth. There’s no indication how old these cadavers were, and what state these teeth were in. The study used artificial saliva, not real saliva. Let’s also point out the researchers were not dentists, they were biochemists. In fact, the American Dental Association was not even consulted in this study.
It’s not to say that this research is hogwash. By all means, this is very good data to analyze. It’s the news headlines that are misleading…
“Ingredient in whitening strips is harmful to deep layer of teeth, research says” – CNN
“The dark side of teeth-whitening strips” – MarketWatch
“Teeth-whitening strips could harm layer of teeth, studies suggest” – USA Today
“Whitening products may damage teeth, new study finds” – Today Show
And these are just the headlines from mainstream media. There are many more out there from smaller outlets. Yet, the current state of social media rewards news publications for generating likes, shares, and comments. Hence, media outlets have re-engineered their headlines for maximum Facebook-efficiency, which as this example points out, hooks readers with frightening claims.
So, it’s important to understand there’s a great gap between the study itself, and the headlines many Americans are scrolling through.
Teeth whitening products that have been tested by the American Dental Association are safe to use. People have been using them for decades now, and most still report strong, healthy teeth. Tooth decay, bone loss, teeth fractures, are usually the result of other factors, not teeth whitening products.
Always look for the ADA seal of approval on any teeth whitening product you buy, and always follow directions carefully.
If you want, faster, safer whitening results, call my office, and book a teeth whitening appointment.