Blinded by the White

WRITTEN BY: Elizabeth On 09/06/2011 • Health

Blinded by the White

Why overusing bleach in teeth whitening can be counterproductive.

You're having a good hair day, your make-up is flawless, and you're rocking a fabulous new outfit - what's missing?  It may be a blinding, white smile.  Americans seem to be obsessed with whitening their teeth, making it a must-have accessory.  But how far is too far with this bright, white trend?

Submitted by Elizabeth on 09/06/2011 - 10:30

In an attempt to get white teeth, it seems many Americans are bleaching their teeth obsessively and to unhealthy extremes - bleaching multiple times a day and using multiple treatments.  Dentists are beginning to call this addiction "bleachorexia."  While it may not sound that bad, some people go so far with their bleaching kits and agents that they're left with eroded enamels, sensitivity, and extremely weak and unhealthy teeth.  Overbleaching as part of your teeth whitening process can actually backfire -  wearing away the protective enamel and exposing the naturally yellow underbody of the teeth.

Like many things, dentists tell us moderation is key.  Overbleaching is only going to ruin your teeth and make them look worse in the long run.  Also, you should not have unrealistic expectations of your teeth whitening products.  Clean, bright teeth are attractive, but shooting for glow-in-the-dark, blinding white is unhealthy and unnatural-looking.

Let us know - do you bleach your teeth?  Do you know someone who may have "bleachorexia"?