Pearly whites. A term often used to describe that attention-grabbing movie star smile that has gained such popularity over the years. However, despite frequent brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, many people still experience tooth discoloration, leading them to seek out teeth whitening services and solutions. Everywhere we turn, advertisements for whitening strips, toothpastes, UV treatments, veneers, etc. promise that we can finally bid adieu to our yellow teeth.
With the many professional teeth whitening services provided by dentists across the country, as well as the myriad of DIY whitening solutions available online and in stores, it may be difficult to separate fact from fiction when it comes to safety and effectiveness. Let us help eliminate the guesswork by debunking the most common tooth whitening myths.
Teeth Whitening Fact vs. Fiction
Myth: Tooth whitening is for everyone
Fact: Unfortunately, what works for one person may not work for another. When it comes to tooth whitening, teeth that have been discolored due to medication or trauma—as well as teeth that have a more brownish tint to them—rarely whiten with treatment. On the contrary, yellow teeth can typically achieve much better results. If you have crowns, veneers, dental bonds or fillings, whitening will not have any effect on their color.
Myth: Holistic tooth whitening treatments are effective
Fact: Many people desire a more natural solution to tooth whitening. Activated charcoal toothpastes and scrubs, coconut and olive “oil pulling,” and acidic fruit diets are some of the most common natural tooth whitening methods. The unfortunate fact is that most of these methods are ineffective, and could actually have an adverse effect, causing permanent damage to tooth enamel and gums.
Myth: Tooth whitening causes enamel erosion, as well as tooth and gum sensitivity
Fact: Whitening your teeth is widely considered a safe procedure, however, you may experience some sensitivity of the teeth and gums during or after professional teeth whitening services. This is normally only temporary. Those regularly using at-home solutions run a higher risk of prolonged sensitivity and permanent enamel erosion, due to how easy it is to misuse over-the-counter whitening products.
Myth: At-home whitening solutions are just as effective as the teeth whitening services provided by your dentist
Fact: DIY whitening solutions are definitely a convenient—and, sometimes, cost-effective—way to rid yourself of tooth discoloration, but it can be a much slower process. When using at-home tooth whitening products, you run the risk of damaging teeth and gums due to excessive use, or by not following directions properly. Professional tooth whitening eliminates these risks, and provides faster, more effective, and safer results at a cost that is often surprisingly lower than many expect.
Myth: Tooth whitening is permanent
Fact: Having a permanent set of pearly whites after whitening your teeth is, unfortunately, just a myth. There are many contributing factors that may change the color of your teeth over time: foods, beverages, and smoking, to name a few. While a healthy diet and reduction of bad habits may extend the whiteness of your teeth, it may be necessary to maintain your pearly hue with periodic whitening touch-ups.
A whiter smile is a quick and easy confidence booster that is widely available in many different forms. Choosing which whitening service will work best for you can be a confusing task, but it’s important that you approach the process safely, and with a discerning eye. Regardless of the many myths you may have heard, whitening your teeth with the assistance of a dental professional is still the safest and most effective method for achieving the sparkling white smile you’ve been looking for.
Temple Family Dentistry has been delivering dazzling smiles for many years, and is here to provide personalized care for your dental needs. Schedule an appointment or contact Dr. Dan DeRosa for a tooth whitening consultation today.