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Can You Damage Enamel By Whitening Your Teeth Too Much?

The first time I saw my wife, she was covered in mud from head to foot from a powder puff football game played in the rain. The only thing not caked in mud were her teeth. Let me tell you, her smile was radiant. I fell instantly in love. I’m still in love with both her and her smile to this day. I say that as a preface because I’m worried she whitens them too much. She had zoom whitening done three years ago. But, every six months, after her cleaning and check-ups, she purchases more gel and does a touch-up at home. Will that damage her enamel or is it safe?

Brenden L.

Dear Brenden,

Beautiful White Teeth

A beautiful smile can melt hearts. While I do understand your concern about your wife’s whitening habits, she’s actually fine. Generally, when people do “touch-ups” it’s only about once a year. However, if your wife has habits that can stain her teeth more often, then twice a year isn’t horrible. Drinking things like coffee or tea will tend to mean you need to whiten your teeth more often. There are foods like curry that can stain teeth as well.

However, sometimes whitening more often sabotages your efforts. Our teeth have microscopic holes in them. When we whiten our teeth, those holes open up more. Eventually, they close again. But, until then she could be more susceptible to stains.

There are warning signs when someone is whitening too much. One is sensitivity. The other is her teeth will start to look translucent. However, if these were happening, I don’t think her dentist would continue selling her the gel. She gets regular check-ups, so he’d notice any detrimental changes in her teeth.

If she’s interested in a more permanent way to keep her teeth looking perfect, your wife may want to look into porcelain veneers. This is something people tend to get when they’re looking for a total smile makeover. But, the porcelain is much more stain resistant than her natural teeth so she would not have to whiten anymore.

One word of caution. While any dentist can do a great job with teeth whitening. A smile makeover with porcelain veneers requires both expertise in technical skill and artistry. Finding an expert cosmetic dentist can be tricky. I’d recommend you check on the mynewsmile.com website to see who they recommend in your area.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Newkirk.