5 Myths About Tooth Whitening — Debunked!

white bright teeth smiling woman

photo credit: Nobilior | Dollar Photo Club

Tooth whitening is one of the most popular dental cosmetic procedures because it produces excellent results, does not harm the teeth or gums, and doesn’t cost a fortune. If you are curious about whitening your teeth, but would first like more information, see below for five myths about tooth whitening to learn the truth for yourself.

Myth #1: Tooth Whitening Is Painful

Putting a bleaching agent on your teeth may sound painful, but the process should not cause much or any discomfort at all. Placing too much of the whitening solution into the custom tray may cause some to get onto your gums, which may cause some slight discomfort.  Simply removing the tray and rinsing your mouth will alleviate any discomfort from too much solution.  Also, some people may experience an increase in sensitivity to things like cold and air.  This typically occurs immediately following the application of the whitening agent, is only temporary and will go away with time, and often occurs in those individuals who are more sensitive to begin with.  If you have sensitive teeth, rest assured — most sensitivity can be treated with a little time or a desensitizing gel or mouthwash to use after whitening.

Myth #2: Tooth Whitening Damages Enamel

One of the biggest misconceptions about tooth whitening is that it may damage your enamel.  This is simply not true. The term “bleaching” can be a bit misleading. Bleach can destroy things, but the whitening solution used on your teeth is peroxide based, and it doesn’t weaken or remove your enamel. In fact, the US FDA performs rigorous testing on the bleaching agents used in teeth whitening gel to ensure that they are completely safe and won’t damage your tooth enamel.

Myth #3: At-Home Whitening Isn’t as Effective as In-Office Whitening

At-home whitening is just as effective as in-office whitening.  Although in-office whitening can often have dramatic results, it is usually temporary and, in fact, most dentists will also give the patient custom trays to continue the whitening process at home for the best results.  How white your teeth will become with either method depends on several factors, including how long you wear the whitening trays, the number of days you wear the trays and how well your teeth react to the whitening agents.  As far as over-the-counter whitening toothpastes, rinses, and other products are concerned, they do not whiten your teeth as well (some even argue that they don’t really whiten at all and is more of a marketing ploy).

Myth #4: All Tooth Discoloration Can Be Fixed With Tooth Whitening

Regular tooth whitening is great at fixing extrinsic stains — those caused by foods, beverages, smoking and age. These stains are on the surface, where the whitening agent works. However, intrinsic stains , or those that are deeper in the tooth structure, don’t always react well to whitening. Stains from trauma that causes the dentin to darken and an overexposure to fluoride, which can cause fluorosis (white or brown spots or mottling of the teeth), are poor choices for tooth whitening.  If you have these types of stains your dentist can work with you to find a solution that will give you a beautiful white smile.

Myth #5: You Only Have to Get Your Teeth Whitened Once

Actually, this myth could hold true, but only if you decide to avoid everything that can caused tooth discoloration in the first place. The results that you experience during the tooth whitening procedure are considered permanent because the bleaching agent destroys your current stains forever. They won’t suddenly come back in a few months. However, tooth whitening doesn’t make your teeth immune to stains. The more stain-causing foods and beverages you consume, the faster your teeth will develop new stains.  Often, patient will need to ‘touch up’ their smile with a few weeks of teeth whitening each year.

If you’re tired of a dark and dingy smile, you don’t have to wait a moment longer. Tooth whitening is a great way to get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. For more information about teeth whitening, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

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