Clinical studies have found that tooth bleaching is a safe way to brighten a smile—when done correctly and in moderation.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the number of bleaching procedures has increased more than 300% over the past 5 years. The possibility of overusing such products worries dentists. That is why the dental community believes bleaching should be monitored and done in consultation with dentists.

“They can’t set a limit for how white is white,” says Margrit Maggio, DDS, assistant professor in the preventative and restorative sciences department at the University of Pennsylvania Dental School. “We can only educate, and since over-the-counter products are not something we can control, I’m not sure we can put the responsibility on the dental community.”

Dentists say that getting teeth to be “piano-key” white is unrealistic. Teeth should not be whiter than the whites of your eyes. The truth is that teeth aren’t a uniform shade of white.

The AACD says it is important that dentists speak to their patients about the adverse effects of overbleaching.

[PhillyBurbs.com, August 7, 2006]