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Bleachorexia

Dentists are concerned about patients over bleaching their teeth

Applying whitening stripHaving the perfect white Hollywood smile has become a must-have accessory in recent years. In 2012, people in the U.S spent $383 million on whitening strips and other at-home teeth whitening products. While having perfect white teeth may boost your confidence, some people have become obsessed and are going to extremes.

Dentists became concerned with this trend when their patients began admitting to using whitening products daily. Reports of consumers using Clorox on their teeth have also been reported.

With Whitening strips readily available in grocery stores many consumers don’t realize how chemically strong and potentially dangerous, they can be. Whitening strips are in reality a fancy way to put bleach on your teeth (bleach – the chemical that can burns white holes on dark garments and cleans bathroom floors).

The term ‘bleachorexia’ has been used to describe the notation that for some people their teeth are never white enough. They become obsessed about having perfect white teeth and resort to bleaching their teeth as much as once a day.

The American Dental Association recommends consulting with your dentist to come up with a safe teeth-whitening plan for your specific teeth.  Dentists also offer professional teeth whitening which is the safest route when dealing with such strong chemicals. If you are going to use at home whitening strips always follow the directions carefully and watch out for the warnings signs of over-whitening teeth.

  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Receding gums
  • Irritated gums
  • Chalky looking teeth
  • translucent teeth

As adults, we only get one set of teeth and eroding them away for a fashion trend may not seem harmful now. Sadly bleach erodes the enamel off your teeth and the damage is irreversible. If you think you may be over-bleaching your teeth take it seriously and consult your dentist: having false teeth at the age of 40 is not worth it no matter how perfect your teeth look now.

 
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