Bleachorexia: When Teeth Whitening Goes Extreme

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We live in a world of extremes from couponing to sports. However, teeth whitening has been added to the list. Dentists have coined a new term called 'bleachorexia' that refers to people who become obsessed with white teeth and go to extremes. Bleachorexia is classified as a body dysmorphic disorder. 

The insecurities of the person cause them to constantly whiten their teeth. They are never satisfied with the looks of their teeth. They may whiten them before every event even though their teeth look fine. Knowing more about bleachorexia and how to avoid it can help you combat the problem.

What are the Causes and Risk Factors of Bleachorexia?

No specific cause of dysmorphic disorders such as bleachorexia has been found. It could have environmental and genetic causes. Risks factors include low self-esteem, anxiety, negative experiences as a child, peer pressure, and high expectations of beauty.

Signs of Bleachorexia

How do you know if you have bleachorexia? One of the first signs you are overdoing the teeth whitening is hypersensitivity to cold and hot foods. Overusing tooth whiteners can also damage enamel. If you feel nauseated after teeth whitening, it could be from swallowing bleach. Over-bleached teeth can also appear translucent.

How to Whiten Teeth Right and Prevent Over-bleaching

Use the correct whitening system. It is advised to only buy systems approved by the American Dental Association. Carefully follow all the directions to avoid risks associated with teeth whitening.

Do not eat foods that cause stains. Keeping away stains in the first place will help you resist the urge to overbuy whitening products. Wine, coffee, berries, sauces, and colas stain teeth. If you drink beverages that stain, sip them through a straw. Drinking through straw prevents them from getting on your teeth.

See your dentist first. Your dental health must be good before you use teeth whitening products. You must be checked for cavities and receding gums. People with chipped or cracked teeth are not good candidates for teeth whitening. Pregnant women are advised to avoid teeth whitening.

Be leery of teeth whitening stations or kiosks. These stations are often set up in malls run by non-qualified cosmetic dentists. The low cost attracts unsuspecting customers. The cost may be less, but they have no regard for safety. Bleachorexia is a real condition and should be taken seriously. Getting teeth whitened under the supervision of a cosmetic dentist will help you prevent damaging your teeth.