Everybody wants a clean, dazzlingly white smile—and there’s nothing wrong with turning to your dentist to help you achieve it! Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that can improve the aesthetics of your smile. But with so much information available online, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the process and side effects of the treatment. Let’s examine some of the common myths and facts surrounding teeth whitening from an expert’s point of view.
Myth 1: Whitening Damages Tooth Enamel
One of the most common myths about teeth whitening is that it damages tooth enamel. However, this is not true. Tooth whitening products that are sold over the counter or provided by dental professionals have been tested and proven to be safe for enamel. In fact, most whitening products contain mineral ingredients like fluoride, which are designed to protect and strengthen the enamel of your teeth. Although, it is best to avoid home remedies such as baking soda or hydrogen peroxide, as prolonged use of these chemicals in high amounts can cause damage to your teeth and gums.
Myth 2: Whitening Is Permanent
Another common myth is that teeth whitening is a permanent solution to discoloration. While tooth bleaching can provide long-lasting results (some in-office treatments can last a year or more), it’s important to note that teeth will still gradually darken over time due to regular food and drink consumption and even just the natural course of aging. Most dentists recommend touch-up treatments every 6-12 months to maintain the whiteness of your teeth.
Myth 3: Natural Remedies Are as Effective as Professional Treatment
Many people believe that natural remedies, such as baking soda or coconut oil, can provide the same results as professional teeth whitening. However, this is not the case. While these remedies may help remove surface stains, they cannot penetrate deep into the teeth to remove stubborn discoloration. Professional teeth whitening treatments are still considered the most effective way to achieve a brighter smile.
Myth 4: Teeth Whitening Is Painful and Risky
There is a misconception that teeth whitening is a painful and risky procedure. Some patients may experience temporary tooth sensitivity or gum irritation, but these side effects are usually mild and will disappear within a few days. Teeth whitening is a safe and effective procedure when performed by a trained dental professional.
Certain myths about tooth care are long-standing and usually stem from outdated procedures or incorrect knowledge about what happens during treatment. When choosing a dentist to help you whiten your teeth, make sure that you ask any questions that make you more comfortable with your treatment. After all, correcting dental myths is part of your dentist’s job! But now that we’ve taken a look at what isn’t true, let’s dive into some teeth whitening facts.
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Fact 1: Tooth Enamel Is Porous Like Your Skin
Did you know that tooth enamel is porous much like your skin? This means that it is easily affected by the food and drink you consume. Dark-colored liquids like coffee, tea, and wine can stain your teeth over time, and some medications can also cause discoloration. Regular teeth cleanings and whitening treatments can help keep your teeth looking their best.
Fact 2: Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening Is Absolutely Normal
Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening. This is because the whitening process opens up the pores in your teeth, making them more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. However, this sensitivity is absolutely normal and will usually disappear within a few days. Your dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment to help alleviate any discomfort.
Fact 3: Crowns and Veneers Cannot Be Whitened
If you have dental crowns or veneers, it’s important to know that these restorations cannot be whitened. This means that if you whiten your natural teeth, your crowns and veneers will remain the same color. Your dentist may recommend updating your restorations to match your newly whitened teeth.
Fact 4: Not All Teeth Can Be Made Perfectly White
Lastly, it’s important to understand that not all teeth can be made perfectly white. The color of your teeth is determined by your genetics, and some people simply have naturally yellow or gray teeth. While teeth whitening can help improve the appearance of your teeth, it may not be able to achieve a perfectly white smile for everyone.
Teeth whitening can be a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your smile. By separating fact from fiction, you can make an informed decision about whether teeth whitening is right for you. At Windham Family Dentistry, we offer fact-based teeth whitening and cosmetic care, like our all-encompassing 3D-smile design. We are ready to help our patients achieve the beautiful white smile of their dreams by providing all of the information they need to decide on the care that works best for them in a comfortable, state-of-the-art clinic. Contact us today to learn more about tooth whitening and any other treatment!