I took up the offer for free teeth whitening for life from my new dentist. She offers custom trays at half price and the bleaching gel is free. She uses different gel from my old dentist. I was at a dinner with some friends last weekend and somehow the topic about dental visits came up and the subject went into getting teeth whitening. I mentioned the deal my new dentist gives, and one of my friends asks if I have any whitening gel left from my former dentist. I said yes, and multiple people started asking for my old gel. I was planning on throwing it away. There are certain things that I don’t like sharing with people because if it doesn’t go well, I don’t want to hear about it. Nor do I want to feel responsible for it. My friends thought I was over-reacting and said it’s no big deal. Is there anything wrong with sharing my old teeth whitening gel with friends? Thanks. Val
Val – Your hesitation about sharing your teeth whitening gel with someone else is valid. There are several variables to consider before someone uses bleaching gel.
Factors to Consider before Sharing Teeth Whitening Gel
- Condition of their teeth and gums. Teeth whitening treatments shouldn’t be started without a dentist verifying the condition of a person’s teeth and gums. Any signs of tooth decay or gum disease should be cleared up first.
- Type of teeth stains. Whitening gel works on many types of stains, but it some cases it can make stains more noticeable—or simply worse.
- Type of bleaching trays. Over-the-counter or one-size-fits-all bleaching trays can cause more harm than good. Custom trays are needed to ensure the gel stays in contact with teeth and doesn’t ooze out. Otherwise, oral tissue and gums can be burned form the gel.
- Types of whitening gel. Some dentists use different types of teeth whitening based on the patient’s needs. What’s right for you might not be right for your friends.
- How long to bleach. Without a dentist’s supervision, it’s a guessing game. Your friends won’t know how long they should use the bleaching gel each day, or how long they should continue to bleach. Over-bleaching can damage teeth.
If you’re not comfortable sharing the bleaching gel from your former dentist, don’t do it. Explain the reasons to your friends and leave it at that. You might be doing some of them a bigger favor than they know.
This post is sponsored by Lowell cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.