The dangerous obsession with whiter teeth
Internet search engines, and especially YouTube, have become the gurus of home remedies
Make-up tricks, stain solutions or cooking secrets can be harmless; what is dangerous happens when health issues are addressed. In the case of dental treatments, the tricks to get whiter teeth at minimum cost flood the network. From the use of lemon (an acid!), to coal or tumeric. In fact, the American Dental Association, the oldest association in the sector whose purpose is to promote dental health, collects in one of its articles the differences between reality and fantasy of these homemade solutions; warning about its use.
Teeth whitening has recently become a necessity. Each time the image is more important when it comes to getting or keeping a job, to interact with friends or to feed the profiles on social networks; and a white and aligned smile helps a lot. However, obsessing about getting a “perfect target” can be counterproductive. The experts at the Artedental clinic explain what “blancorexia” is and says that the reality about the dentures of celebrities is almost always the result of putting on dental veneers and not whitening.
What is blancorexia?
” Blancorexia is a pathology that consists in the obsession to reach the perfect target in the teeth”, explains the medical director of Artedenal, Víctor Cubillo. “People with this disorder abuse whitening treatments always pursuing an excessively white tone,” he adds. And the worst of all is that many times they do not consult with a specialist and they damage, sometimes irreversibly, their teeth.
“Our teeth are not white. The dental enamel is translucent, it even has a slightly bluish tone and the dentine, which is underneath, is somewhat yellowish. Therefore, the colour of our teeth is not uniform, “explains Cubillo. In general, celebrities, with those “gleaming” dentures, have actually put on veneers, often correcting the shape of the teeth and small imperfections.
The increase in cases of blancorexia in recent years is worrisome, as it is that the number of people who, without getting to suffer blancorexia, undergo home dental whitening without any control. The business is also booming. In the United States alone, spending on teeth whitening products exceeds one billion dollars per year according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. The abuse of bleaching substances without control can irritate the gums, abrade the enamel, cause tooth sensitivity, alter the taste buds of the tongue or increase the risk of caries.
“The more yellowish the teeth are, the more tones can be bleached, getting to rinse them up to eight of ten tones. However, there is a limit that depends on how the teeth of each patient, the colour of the intended or enamel, “says the medical director of Artedental,” if you persist too much, the effect is counter-productive.”
That is why experts recommend consulting this type of treatment with professionals before carrying them out, and submitting them to a dental clinic if possible. Only the dentist can assess the state and characteristics of each denture, because they are all different, and what is the best solution that fits them. In Artedental, for example, they recommend activated tooth whitening with LED light and combined with a splint treatment to take home, always under the supervision of an expert.