The Epidemic of Bleachorexia
At Life-Like Cosmetic Solutions we consistently promote the benefits of teeth whitening. Having whiter teeth can make people feel and look better, and often leads to job and relationship success. But, as with anything else, patients can become obsessed with the teeth bleaching process, and may be tempted to use whitening products beyond their recommended purposes.
This over-fascination with tooth whitening, or bleachorexia, falls under the category of a body dysmorphic disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia. Even though the teeth are already white, the patient still feels that they are not white enough and continues to use teeth whiteners in an unhealthy effort to obtain a perceived “ultimate smile.” Despite what loved ones may say, the afflicted person repeatedly requests more dental whitening procedures or uses an abundance of over-the-counter whitening substances.
Bleachorexia has been documented in Contemporary Esthetic Dentistry by George Freedman and chronicled in national media such as ABC News online. These people will continue to whiten their teeth even though they are already white and will not become any whiter through continued treatment. Some of the dangers of over-whitening include:
- Teeth may become an unnatural shade or translucent.
- Enamel may erode and core structure of the teeth may become compromised.
- Patient could experience increased dental sensitivity.
- Gums may recede and soft tissue in the mouth could be negatively affected.
- Extensive damage to the teeth may result in a need for veneers or dental crowns.
These patients tend to go beyond the recommended directions and utilize an unhealthy combination of dental visits, home kits and spa bleaching treatments to attempt to reach their unattainable goal. Ironically, overdoing the attempt to achieve the whitest smile can actually result in darker, unhealthy-looking teeth. Dentists should be on the watch for these patients and intervene with education and treatment alternatives, when appropriate.
The most effective way to achieve the goal of whiter teeth is under the supervision and direction of a dental professional. Since 1990, Life-Like has supplied cosmetic dentists with safe and effective professional whitening kits to help patients achieve the smiles they want. We recommend that dentists talk to patients about the benefits and risks associated with using over-the-counter dental products and that they agree on an appropriate target shade before even commencing the bleaching treatment.
Dental supplies from Life-Like can help dental professionals respond to their patients’ desire for whiter teeth with a combination of in-office and at-home teeth bleaching kits. Call 800-543-3545 to learn about the modern-day original teeth whitening system from Life-Like.
Dr. Rodney Ogrin, Founder and Owner
Life-Like Cosmetic Solutions
About Life-Like: Life-Like Cosmetic Solutions is the original teeth whitener supplier. The company provides teeth bleaching kits which cosmetic dental practices use to achieve whiter teeth for patients. Visit the website at https://www.life-like.com to participate in their “Marketing for Dentists” program at no cost. “Like” the Facebook page to receive regular updates on teeth whitening products. Call 800-543-3545 for more information using professional dental whitening techniques to safely whiten teeth.