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

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Bleaching teeth

10 June, 2004


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 won’t pose a problem. (I’ll 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 one.s 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.


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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