Myths About Teeth Whitening

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Everyone seems to be looking for that picture-perfect Hollywood smile, but with too many daily habits such as coffee, sugar, red wine and perhaps even smoking getting in the way, day-to-day life can lead to our teeth not quite looking their absolute best.


One increasingly popular option for combating this issue is teeth whitening. With more people undergoing teeth whitening treatment today than ever before, we’re here to dispel a few of the myths surrounding teeth whitening that may be holding you back from the smile of your dreams.


Myth #1: Teeth Whitening Can Damage Enamel

Strictly speaking, no, whitening your teeth will not damage the enamel. However, with this being said, teeth whitening is a dental procedure and you should ensure that any dental whitening is carried out by a dental professional.


Myth #2: You Can Remove Stains by Rubbing Acidic Fruit on Your Teeth

According to a University of Iowa study, the popular strawberry and baking soda remedy for whiter teeth do absolutely nothing beyond removing surface debris.


Not only does rubbing acidic fruit on your teeth do not lead to a shinier smile, but it can also be fairly harmful. Acids in foods and drink can lead to the wearing away of your teeth’s enamel, and while brushing after a meal can certainly help, any acid that has softened the enamel can speed up wear. This can actually increase discoloration and yellowing and contribute to cavities, according to teeth whitening expert, Marc Lazare.


Myth #3: Teeth Will Remain White Forever Following Whitening Treatment

It’s important to have realistic expectations about teeth whitening. For those tea and coffee drinkers, red wine drinkers, and smokers out there, having teeth whitened will not prevent the aforementioned from doing their dirty work again and causing more staining. 


A top-up treatment every few months will be required, although your teeth probably won’t return to their original color. If you’re going to drink coffee, tea, or red wine, try doing it through a straw. 


Myth #4: The Secret to Whiter Teeth Is Activated Charcoal

Teeth whitening trends come and go, and no matter what the latest hip trend may be, it’s usually best to leave things like this in the hands of the scientists. As it stands, there’s not nearly enough evidence available to suggest that charcoal has any positive effect when it comes to teeth whitening. One study even found activated charcoal toothpaste performed no better than a regular toothpaste at whitening teeth.


In fact, activated charcoal may actually harm your teeth because it’s an abrasive that can wear down tooth enamel and increase the risk of decay.


Myth #5: Your Teeth Will Look Unnatural After Whitening

Due to the progressive nature of teeth whitening, there’s no chance that you can get unnatural or overly white teeth. When it comes to home whitening treatments from your dentist, these are done over several days, so the more days you use them obviously the whiter your teeth will become. Usually, after three days or so, most people reach their ideal level of whiteness and there’s no need to continue. It should also be noted that there’s only so white your teeth will be able to turn and it depends on the original shade of your teeth at the beginning of the treatment, the cause of stains, and whether stains are on the surface of the dentin.


Myth #6: Teeth Whitening Can Lead to Extreme Sensitivity

On the topic of discomfort, the process of having your teeth whitened shouldn’t cause any pain at all. If you’re beginning to feel any burning, stinging, or irritation in any way you should cease using the treatment immediately. After your tooth whitening procedure, you can expect some mild tooth sensitivity and sensitive gums, according to the Cleveland Clinic, although this goes away in a few days. Your dentist can give you a product with a high amount of fluoride to reduce sensitivity. 


Myth #7: Over-the-Counter Solutions Are as Good as Professional Products

While there are over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions available such as special kinds of toothpaste, gum, and strips which can help, the effects of these pale in comparison to those you can expect from professional solutions available from your dentist. These products can remove surface stains from the outside of your teeth fairly successfully, but professional dentist-administered teeth whitening can penetrate the deeper layers of your teeth for more profound and longer-lasting results.


Myth #8: You Can Safely and Effectively Whiten your Teeth with UV Light

There is no evidence available to suggest that UV light can be helpful to whiten your teeth. In fact, UV rays can be quite harmful to your teeth, and not only that, to other nearby tissues such as the gums, lips and even eyes. Several studies have confirmed that light-activated and UV teeth whitening just don’t have much to offer and won’t whiten your teeth any more effective than other products. 


Myth #9: Applying Baking Soda Can Whiten Your Teeth

Baking soda is one of the most common home remedies to whiten teeth and it has been shown to help brighten your smile when it’s included in toothpaste. However, you should avoid brushing your teeth with just a baking soda solution as this mild abrasive can wear away your tooth enamel.


Myth #10: Teeth Whitening Will Give you the Perfect Hollywood Smile

While many people looking to undergo teeth whitening treatment may expect the perfect, beaming white smile fit for Hollywood, this can be far from the case. The effectiveness of teeth whitening treatments differs from person to person, and it relies heavily upon the shade the teeth were in the first place. Some people simply don’t respond well to teeth whitening, and some stains are simply too deep to be treated. Other options such as veneers, for example, maybe the road to go down.

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