Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Bleaching teeth

10 June, 2004

Question:

Thank you for providing such a wonderful website it has been very helpful to me. Please forgive me if the following is a silly question. My teeth have been very severely discolored since childhood, and this has always made me uncomfortable in public. Today my dentist prescribed for me a bleaching treatment to improve the appearance of my teeth. I will need to wear trays of this bleaching medication in my mouth for several hours every day for up to 2 weeks. Each time I take the tray out, I wash off any remaining bleaching medication.
I will hopefully be going to the mikvah in several days, and I want to make sure this wont pose a problem (Ill do my best to wash the treatment off before the mikvah).
Also, I was wondering:
1) The dentist informed me that the results may be "blotchy" and look bad at first, and only start to look better after several days. Should I therefore wait until after the mikvah to start these treatments? Or is it better from a mikvah perspective to start the treatments as soon as possible? (I read on the website that if a person plans to improve an area of ones appearance right after the mikvah, that area might become a chatzitzah according to one opinion).
2) Also, I read the response to a question on your website about hair dyes, and I read that a hair dye should be well-maintained in order not to pose a problem for mikvah. Because this tooth-color lightening will need to be "touched-up" every few months, must I now make it part of my routine every few months before I go to the mikvah? If one time I would be unable to "touch it up" before going, could I go to the mikvah anyway?

Thanks very much for your patience in reading and answering this question–


Answer:

As long as you remove all the bleaching material prior to immersion, we do not see a problem with this treatment. The situation here is different from hair dye – there you are putting something on (the dye) and here you are removing something (the stain).


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