Teeth whitening is not a new trend, but it is gaining popularity. With its affordability and easy accessibility, finding a dental office near you that can do it is simple. Drug stores are full of whitening toothpaste, bleaching kits, and lightening pens for DIY options you can try at home. A scary new obsession is surfacing, and your dental team in NE Calgary needs to inform people who are overdoing it.
Can you become addicted to whitening your teeth?
Addiction is a complex subject, and whitening your teeth might sound tame compared to substance abuse addiction. While it might not be taking lives, it is a genuine compulsion for some people.
Addiction can be defined as the condition where an individual cannot stop using or doing something as a habit, especially something harmful.
This unhealthy trend, called bleachorexia, is when a person becomes so fixated on achieving the whitest, brightest, most impeccable ivories you have ever seen that they will go to any lengths to achieve this goal. With their mouths full of blisters where even water upsets their scorching lips, they will allow their body to suffer and waste away because food hurts to eat. They will spend money they do not have and put themselves through chemical burns and mishaps by wearing bleaches for too long. They will lighten their teeth to the point of being translucent following classic addiction behaviour of compulsively chasing an award.
What is so rewarding about whitening teeth?
Advertisements, tv and movies present us with white-toothed grins, promoting beauty, charisma, and health. A person who struggles with low self-esteem and self-worth become susceptible to obsessively trying to be someone they are not. Fanatics of whitening their teeth crave attention and are driven by their perception of beauty and their desire to be ‘the best.’
There is also an incapability to see their true self. People suffering from bleachorexia are like those with anorexia and body dysmorphic disorders. They do not always know the truth when they look in the mirror.
What happens if you overbleach your teeth?
There are several problems if over bleaching occurs:
- Soft tissue chemical burns
- Gum irritation
- Loss of protective enamel
- Tooth decay
- Extreme sensitivity
How white should your teeth be?
Most dentists near you recommend going no lighter than the whites of your eyes. Anything more than that, and it steps outside your natural color wheel and looks artificial. Severe damage will begin to occur soon after reaching this level.
If you or someone you know is going overboard with bleaching away their blues, please contact your mental health professional, who will direct you on the steps you should take.
The dental team at our dental clinic in NE Calgary, offers teeth whitening as part of their cosmetic dentistry options. We support people in finding their beauty and feeling confident. We do not support the overuse of bleaching products and offer this information to our patients as a cautionary anecdote. The best way to achieve optimal and appropriate results is by visiting our office under the supervised care of a professional.
The myth that pain is beauty is not a practice we accept, and we can give you a beautiful, white, and bright smile without ruining your mouth. Our knowledgeable staff is trained in the application of bleaching products and the appropriate lightness for each individual. Call us to book a consultation, and we can brighten your day and your smile.