In pursuit of a whiter smile, some people are turning to such methods as at-home teeth whitening and laser teeth whitening. Each whitening method carries its own benefits and risks that should be carefully weighed and discussed with your cosmetic dentist before making a decision. If you are looking for ways to brighten your smile, here is what you need to know about teeth whitening.  

What Are the Risks of Teeth Whitening?

You already know that the main benefit of getting your teeth whitened is that you can end up with a brighter smile. However, you might not be familiar with the risks that are sometimes involved in teeth whitening. The risks can vary according to method, but one of the most commonly experienced is increased sensitivity.  

At-home kits and in-office whitening methods tend to rely on the use of hydrogen peroxide to help remove stains from teeth. Although the peroxide is usually seen as safe, it can temporarily weaken the enamel on the teeth. The weakened enamel leaves you more vulnerable to sensations, such as hot and cold.  

The good news is the sensitivity is usually temporary and only lasts a few days. With the right application of the peroxide, sensitivity can be avoided altogether.  

Which Method Is Safest?

Even though at-home kits are available for teeth whitening, going to your cosmetic dentist for the procedure is still the safest option. At-home kits tend to have one-size-fits-all instructions for applying the hydrogen peroxide to the teeth.  

Unfortunately, how long the peroxide needs to stay varies from person to person. As a result, you could end up using the peroxide longer than necessary and increase your chances of experiencing sensitivity.  

Your cosmetic dentist can whiten your teeth through the use of hydrogen peroxide trays or laser whitening. The trays are carefully monitored to ensure that your teeth are exposed to the peroxide for the minimum amount of time required, which means a significantly smaller chance of experiencing sensitivity.  

Laser whitening still relies on the use of peroxide, but the solution is heated with the help of an argon laser. Instead of having to wait an hour or longer for the peroxide solution to whiten your teeth, the time can be cut down with the help of the laser.  

There is nothing wrong with wanting a whiter smile. However, you need to be careful to find a method that is safe for you and your teeth. A cosmetic dentist at a clinic like Crest Hill Family Dental can help with exploring your options.