Teeth Whitening Can Be Hazardous Essay

1048 words - 5 pages

According to research done by IMC Research, seventy percent of people with bad teeth say it has negatively impacted their lives (“Bad Teeth Can Have Mental Impact”). From fourth grade through high school, parents and children struggle with the decision on whether or not to whiten teeth. Due to cultural overemphasis on the perfect smile, people’s over use of whitening products leads to many oral problems, and consequently the ADA must campaign for awareness of the risks to teeth whitening. There is so much pressure to be perfect in our society, and this trend is starting to affect the younger generations.
Teeth whitening has been around for a extensive time, beginning around 4,000 years ...view middle of the document...

One of the common whitening procedures is bleaching. Typically when hydrogen peroxide is used and it can cause stomach issues, gum problems, and extreme damage to teeth if they are over-whitened. According to Paul S. Casamassimo, D.D.S., M.S., the Chief of Dentistry at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, “There is evidence that bleaching can cause cellular changes to the gums” (Jacobson).
We continue to make these sacrifices for vanity, but there is a true danger. Advocacy for safety in regards to teeth whitening is crucial. Dr. Bobbie Stanley said, “Some of these over the counter products haven’t been tested and there are lawsuits pending for materials that have actually caused gum trauma or caused the tooth to actually dissolve” (Konig). These lawsuits are just the start, because if this trend of ingesting dangerous chemicals for the sake of looking good, our bodies will suffer serious consequences. Rick Irvin, a toxicologist at Texas A&M University, said, “Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to human health. The diseases we’re beginning to see as the major cause of death in the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin” (Holistic Dentist Says Don’t You be Fooled by Teeth Whitening Strips!).
So it has been proven that whitening can be dangerous for adults, but it is even more dangerous for kids. We are seeing a trend of middle school aged children wanting to whiten their teeth. Many experts advise against this, because teeth are not fully developed and whitening can cause permanent damage. Dan Peterson, a licensed dentist, advises, “If children wait until they are fourteen when the pulp is fully formed, they will experience less sensitivity” (Peterson). The former spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, Carolyn Taggart-Burns, agrees with Peterson, and also advises parents to wait until their children are in their mid-teens, because the teeth will have fully erupted and the tooth pulp will be fully formed (Jacobson).
Whitening, like most other procedures to improve our appearance, is costly. With all of the economic problems in our country, vanity related expenses...

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