Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Person's hand tossing a whiteing tray and syringe with whitening gel into the air in front of a tv screen.

Over a decade of research has shown that professional whitening methods are both safe and effective. Dental professionals who create the whitening agents and products worked to ensure that the process is safe for consumers.

What Is Teeth Whitening?

There are two types of teeth whitening: in-office and at-home. In-office whitening is when a dentist applies a bleaching agent to your teeth. If you’re looking for quick results, professional whitening is for you as results are often seen after one treatment.

At-home treatments can mean over-the-counter products you can buy at the drugstore or whitening trays and gel provided by your dentist. In either case, you are applying the agent by yourself. It may take many applications before visible whitening occurs. At-home and over-the-counter products often contain a lower strength whitening agent than what is in in-office treatments.

Professional teeth whitening options – in-office and custom at-home treatments – are the safest whitening options available. While all whitening treatments can produce some side effects, the extent of these problems depends on the method you choose.


When you receive in-office whitening care, you have the peace of mind that it is being done right by a dental professional. Since the concentration of bleach used at your dentist’s office is higher than at-home methods, dentists take extra care to ensure that the bleach is only applied to the teeth and does not touch the gums. This also means that you will see results much more quickly.

When you use an at-home method, whether over-the-counter or dentist-prescribed, you run the risk of getting bleach on your gums. Getting the bleaching agent on your gums only causes a minor irritation. The bleach is not dangerously strong, but it’s always safer when a professional applies the bleach.


You might suffer from some tooth sensitivity when getting your teeth whitened. Because bleaching gels are well-buffered in professional whitening treatments, sensitivity is less of an issue. However, sensitivity can still occur. It should only last about 48 hours after application and will stop completely when treatment has stopped.

If you’re worried about the safety of teeth whitening, you’ll want to opt for an in-office whitening treatment. We will conduct an exam before prescribing treatment, making sure there are no broken or decayed teeth and prescribing you a fluoride if you have naturally sensitive teeth. Come in to see us and you’ll be on your way to having the smile of your dreams!

Contact UsGive us a call to schedule your professional teeth whitening appointment!

We make sure each and every one of our clients’ needs and concerns are addressed in a caring and thoughtful manner. We want your experience to be as enjoyable and efficient as possible here at North Tonawanda Family Dentistry in North Tonawanda, NY.