Are you a tooth whitening addict?

Dentists call an addiction to whitening teeth “bleachorexia.” Patients, who compulsively use teeth whitening treatments, run the risk of eroding their teeth and making them prone to sensitivity.

Who doesn’t want a healthy, white smile? Teeth whitening treatments are the No. 1 requested cosmetic dental procedure, having increased more than 300% since 1996 according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Regular visits to the dentist and good dental hygiene is a must. For even pearlier whites, bleaching your teeth can be safe and effective as long as you don’t go overboard.

What is considered too often? Dr. Andrew Koenigsberg of Gallery 57 Dental feels that bleaching one time after each cleaning is adequate to maintain whiteness and that more applications of the gel will make teeth look unnatural. People who smoke and drink dark liquids such as tea and coffee might need to touch up two or three times after every cleaning.

These are the signs that you might be over bleaching according to WebMD:

. Excessive sensitivity of the teeth, especially to cold items.

. Redness, bleeding in the gums.

. Teeth start to appear translucent or blotchy.

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