We'd all like our pearly whites to be whiter, and sometimes regular brushing and flossing just doesn't cut it. Luckily there's a host of whitening products available over the counter or through the dentist -- from gels to pastes to strips -- to help fool Mother Nature and make our teeth look better.
But some people worry that using bleaching products on their teeth can be harmful or that they can weaken the teeth. Is there any basis behind this fear? Not really. Bleaching products are generally harmless if used according to the directions. That's because teeth bleaching only affects the color of the teeth, not their health or strength [source: Today Health]. Bleaching works by removing some of the teeth's pigmentation, and if you bleach them too much and remove too much of the natural pigmentation, your teeth might begin to appear translucent [source: Johnston]. Some people could mistake this translucency for weakening of the enamel or damage to the teeth, but that's not the case -- it's just a color change.