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Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

17 August 2022

Happy smiling woman

Ever heard the phrase, ‘smile and the world smiles with you’? Well, it’s true. There’s nothing quite like flashing your gleaming pearly whites at passers-by. In order to look and feel your best, it’s not unheard of to think about teeth whitening.

Have you ever wanted to whiten your teeth but were unsure about its safety? How easy is the procedure? What ingredients are used? Do I need to clam up at the thought of hydrogen peroxide?

If these are questions you’ve asked yourself, read on. We’ll explain all about how a professional clinic can whiten your teeth, what whitening products they use, and how your safety should always be a top priority.

We’ll make sure you’re clued up on absolutely everything you need to make an informed decision about teeth whitening – and safely.

Getting great-looking teeth has never been easier!

The Whitening Process

Whitening your teeth at a professional clinic is easily the greatest way to improve your smile.

However, for those unfamiliar, it’s worth discussing the steps of the process, how long it takes, and how dental professionals undertake these procedures with your safety in mind.

Safety tip: avoiding complications of teeth whitening

Before the process begins, a trained dentist will evaluate the health of your teeth. This will ensure that a cosmetic dentist can whiten your teeth safely, without the worry of any potential complications.

Once your teeth have been evaluated, you will be provided with bespoke whitening trays. These are fitted at the clinic and come with a thorough walk-through from your dentist which explains what you’ll need to do at home in order to ensure safety and maintenance. This includes the length of time you’ll need to wear your whitening trays.

How long does it take to whiten teeth?

In terms of how long your procedure will last, you don’t need to stress about booking the whole day off work to get your teeth whitened. It shouldn’t take much longer than an hour, so you can be out of the clinic in no time!

If you are looking for the safest way to brighten your teeth, then seeking the help of a dental practice is almost always the best option!

How a Professional Will Ensure your Safety

Understandably, one of the main doubts any potential customer may have when deciding whether to have teeth whitening carried out is whether the procedure is 100% safe.

Thankfully, your dentist will undertake a number of steps both with and for you, such as investigating the safety and compatibility of whitening products.

This ensures that you are entirely comfortable with the procedure before you go forwards.

Below, we have compiled some of the key steps a dentist will take to ensure that you can achieve a brighter smile risk-free. Professional advice really is key here.

Complete Dental Examination

One of the differences between home whitening and professional whitening treatments is that, with the latter, you have professional advice at your disposal.

Anybody with decent dental qualifications will first brief you on the risks involved in a whitening procedure, offering you bespoke advice to suit your oral hygiene in a way that no over-the-counter kits could.

A dental examination may involve assessing your teeth sensitivity or risk of gingival irritation (irritated gums) – which may arise after the use of a particular whitening product.

This will help you to understand whether, and how, whitening products could give you a whiter smile without the risk of poor oral health.

Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals

Put down that whitening toothpaste and ditch the baking soda; we’re here to tell you that chemicals used in any tooth whitening procedure are safe!

Of course, the first step if you’re worried about the chemicals going into your mouth is to talk to your dentist. They will reassure you that the whitening products used in the treatment are entirely safe.

Whilst just the mention of a ‘bleaching agent’ may make you squirm, your dentist will undergo a thorough vetting process of all ingredients to make sure there are no risks to your health. This includes the potential for allergic reactions or gum irritation.

A Treatment that Suits You

Whilst achieving that gleaming whitening effect on your teeth is certainly easier and more effective with professional teeth whitening procedures, your dentist may advise you that the treatment is unsuitable.

All this means is that every individual has unique and specific oral hygiene; everyone’s teeth are different! There are certainly alternatives if you are advised not to opt for this treatment, as is the case with higher-risk categories such as pregnant women.

As we suggest, talk to your dentist if you have any doubts – you will be advised as to whether whitening is a suitable and safe process for you. If it happens to be unsuitable, your dentist will give you sure-fire ways to whiten teeth safely.

What Questions Should I Ask Beforehand?

In order to ensure that the procedure is as safe as possible, we recommend asking questions for your own peace of mind.

You may want to ask the following questions:

Safety tip: Always ask for a written treatment plan and cost estimate.

Are Teeth Whitening Treatments Effective?

Professional dental whitening treatments are perhaps some of the most effective – and safe – ways to whiten your teeth.

However, you should always consider that the visible results are not permanent. Even after such procedures, you should not expect the colour of your teeth to be completely transformed. However, you can expect surface stains to be removed, lightening the colour of your natural teeth.

Remember: effective treatments are safe treatments. As such, you’ll want to consider how different teeth whitening options, especially those using agents such as hydrogen peroxide, may cause sensitivity or irritation.

Possible Side Effects of Teeth Whitening Treatments

As is common with the majority of cosmetic procedures, there is a baseline risk of side effects. However, as any dental professional performing teeth whitening is required to have the correct qualifications, side effects are comparatively minimal as opposed to trying home whitening kits.

We would recommend vetting your practice before committing to any treatments; reviews can be a valuable thing.

In order to understand the risk of side effects, your dentist should perform an oral examination to understand factors that could cause inflammation, irritation, or sensitivity. In addition, if you are allergic to known substances, always make your practitioner aware to ensure that they will not be present in the procedure.

Below are the main side effects of whitening treatments:

Gum irritation

Depending on how sensitive your gums are and how they respond to the chemicals used in tooth whitening, you may suffer from gum irritation. This is fairly uncommon, but possible nonetheless.

Any good dental professional will check your gums thoroughly and ask you a range of questions to determine how sensitive your gums are and whether you suffer from gum disease.

Those with gum disease are generally not advised to undergo whitening procedures – and any reputable dental professional will recognise this.

Sensitive teeth

Whitening teeth can quickly lead to sensitive teeth due to the chemicals used. A large number of whitening treatments will remove the upper layer of your tooth enamel, which can lead to sensitivity if done incorrectly.

Thankfully, most whitening professionals know how to whiten teeth without the risk of increasing sensitivity.

If you already have sensitivity in your teeth, you should always alert your dental professional.

Your dentist may need to alter the whitening treatment if you already suffer from sensitivity.

How A Professional Cosmetic Dentist Avoids Side Effects

Although over 20% of the UK public say they would get their teeth whitened, the question still remains, is teeth whitening safe?

Whitening your teeth is completely safe, as long as you choose to use a professional cosmetic dentist.

Any professional with a dental qualification will know how to brighten your smile without the worry of nasty side effects such as tooth sensitivity.

It’s illegal for anyone other than a registered dental practitioner to carry out teeth whitening processes. This means you should avoid having the procedure done at beauty salons as the staff here won’t have the correct training to carry about the procedure safely.

The first step that a cosmetic dentist will take to ensure your safety is to check how sensitive your teeth are. Before any whitening takes place, a dentist will provide a full dental examination to check what options are available to you.

When it comes to starting the professional teeth whitening process, your dentist will ensure the mouthguard containing the bleaching agent is a secure fit for your teeth. This will make sure the product can’t leak out into your mouth, causing burns or irritation.

Professional dentists will also ensure that any chemicals used in the bleaching process are safe and will offer zero adverse effects. If you have any worries or want to discuss potential options, please let your cosmetic dentist know!

Contact Us Today To Find Out More On Teeth Whitening

Now that you know everything there is to know about whitening your teeth, you may be looking for a cosmetic dental service you can trust.

Smile Chic is a highly rated and professional cosmetic dental practice that offers a range of treatments to help you get the smile you deserve.

To find out more, be sure to get in touch today either through phone on 0161 546 1249 or via email at!