Top 10 Misconceptions About Teeth Whitening
Don’t believe everything you hear. There are some crazy myths flying around out there about teeth whitening. Here are the top 10 doozies. We’ve also provided some information to help you understand what is fact and what is fiction.
1. White Teeth Are Healthy Teeth
It’s an easy mistake to make, but you shouldn’t assume that teeth are healthy because they are shiny and white. On the other hand, just because a tooth is discolored does not mean that it has a cavity or is decayed. Color tends to be mostly a cosmetic dental issue.
It’s important to note here that some do-it-yourself whitening techniques can actually damage or have a negative effect on the health of your teeth and oral tissues. For example, you shouldn’t use harsh chemicals which are not meant for dental applications, like hydrogen peroxide or acidic fruit juice.
2. Over-the-Counter Whitening & Professional Whitening Are Equal
This is a commonly believed myth. Though they may contain many of the same bleaching agents, professional whitening products are stronger and more effective than over-the-counter gels. This refers to products supplied by your dentist for at-home use or those applied during an in-office appointment. Zoom Teeth Whitening, for example, includes the application of a professional-grade gel. The whitening gel is then activated through a laser light treatment. The results from professional whitening are noticeable; most patients’ teeth are 5 to 6 shades lighter.
3. Whitening Toothpaste Works Miracles
Sorry to disappoint you, but you probably won’t see any significant results from brushing with whitening toothpaste. They work mostly to scrub away superficial stains. It’s true that these kinds of toothpaste have chemicals which are dental bleaching agents. The concentration of them in the tube you buy at the store is not strong enough, however, to whiten teeth effectively. These chemicals also need to be in contact with the surface of the tooth for at least 20 minutes in order to brighten it.
4. Chewing Gum Can Make Your Teeth Whiter
Nope, whitening gum has the same problem as similar toothpastes. Though they are advertised as an easier way to have a brighter smile, you won’t see a difference after chewing these types of gum.
5. Professional Teeth Whitening is Painful
Thankfully, this is false. Having your teeth whitening is a two-step cosmetic procedure performed by a specifically trained dentist. It is painless and can be done at the dentist office in a single 90-minute appointment.
6. Teeth Will Be White Forever After Treatment
Unfortunately, the results from both at-home and professional teeth whitening treatments aren’t guaranteed to last forever. With time, the teeth will pick up stains especially if you are a smoker or eat certain foods.
In order to continue having a bright smile, you will need to maintain the color with occasional whitening treatments. You can also decrease the discoloration of your front teeth caused by drinks if you use a straw for dark liquids. Learn more about How to Prevent Staining on Your Teeth.
7. Teeth Whitening Procedures Make Teeth Really Sensitive
Whitening your teeth should not be a painful experience. It’s true that you may notice a bit of increased sensitivity after using some gels. But if you feel burning or irritation, you should stop using that treatment. Also, be sure to follow the directions for safe whitening. Don’t use in higher doses or for longer periods than recommended because it may cause you to experience uncomfortable side effects.
Tip: If you experience sensitivity, a quick tip is to clean out the bleaching tray and fill it with toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Let this sit for 10 to 15 minutes to help reduce the sensation.
Every patient is different, so you should talk with your dentist about which product is right for you. There are special gels available which use more delicate chemicals for patients who struggle with sensitive teeth.
8. Active Charcoal Is Super Effective
Last year, brushing teeth with activated charcoal was a huge trend on YouTube and Instagram. You probably saw a lot of pictures and videos of people smiling and showing off their teeth covered with the strange black powder. But already in 2019, we’re seeing less of these images. That’s because, like all trends, it is going out of style.
Beware! Though this is supposedly a natural way to lighten teeth, it is extremely abrasive and, if used frequently, can actually contribute to enamel erosion. For real results and noticeably whiter teeth, it’s best to stick with what dental care providers know is effective.
9. Whitening Works for All Teeth
In-office and at-home dental whitening procedures are designed to lighten the shade of natural teeth. They will not effectively whiten bonding resins, crowns, or porcelain veneers. If you are unhappy with the color of these, you should talk to your dentist about replacing them.
10. Dental Whitening Can Damage the Enamel
The experts say this is not true. The whitening agents provided to you by your dentist or used in the office have a special safety certification. The ADA Seal of Acceptance signifies that the product meets national guidelines, is safe to use on patients and effective for whitening teeth. It’s important to note that most over-the-counter whitening gels do not have ADA certification. Whitening is a dental procedure and is both safer and more successful when performed by a trained professional.
Do You Want a Brighter Smile?
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ron at the Briglia Dental Group. We have extensive experience with a wide selection of whitening solutions and can find the best option for you. For a more dramatic change, our team also does amazing smile makeover procedures.