Teeth Whitening: Busting the Myths!

Social media is full of perfect Hollywood smiles, so radiant and lustrous that you are pushed to spend those dollars to achieve the exact same. Beauty bloggers and influencers are often seen promoting teeth whitening products or DIY ideas. There are less information and much misinformation regarding the procedure that we feel a dire need to clear the air. Avoiding these misconceptions or myths about teeth whitening will help you dodge some serious damage to your teeth.

1.  At-home teeth whitening is the same as in-office teeth whitening

At-home teeth whitening is the same as in-office teeth whitening is the worst myth surrounding the teeth whitening procedure. Following points will help clear the air around this myth.

a. In-office teeth whitening is performed under the supervision of a dental specialist while at-home whitening is done using over-the-counter products.

b. In-office whitening produces better results than at-home whitening because your dentist uses a stronger whitening gel in an appropriate proportion.

c. At-home whitening trays come in only one size that is supposed to fit all, while your dentist provides you custom-made trays for touch-ups.

d. In-office teeth whitening provides better and faster results than at-home teeth whitening.

e. Choosing in-office teeth whitening is safe for dental health as your dentist makes sure that the whitening gel does not harm the porous tooth enamel. She also prevents the whitening gel from irritating the gums or being ingested.

2.  Once whitened, teeth will stay white forever

Teeth whitening is a permanent procedure but it cannot protect the tooth enamel from the effects of aging. The enamel becomes more porous with age and turns yellow. Also, resuming your daily life like consuming stain-causing foods and beverages namely coffee, red wine, tomato ketchup, and tea will continue to stain your teeth.

To slow-down staining, you can drink fluids using a straw and use custom-made whitening trays for touch-ups.

3.  UV light can speed up the whitening process

After applying the whitening gel to your teeth, dentists often use ultraviolet light to accelerate the whitening procedure. However, there is no proof stating that the ultraviolet light helps in accelerating or improving the whitening procedure. Dentists often charge you extra for using the UV light. Communicate your specifications and needs at the beginning of the procedure to avoid confusion.

Always keep in mind that the usage of UV light is unnecessary and on the contrary may harm your gums, oral tissues, eyes, and lips.

4.   You can also whiten dental prosthetics like crowns, bridges, and veneers

Dental prosthetics or restorations like crowns, bridges, veneers, and fillings are made up of inorganic matter, which is impervious in nature. Inorganic substances never respond to whitening treatments.

If you have dental restorations, talk to your dentist before the treatment to ensure you don’t get an unevenly whitened smile.

5. Teeth whitening is for everyone

The beauty bloggers and influencers are seen promoting teeth whitening to everybody. But it is important to understand that teeth whitening is not capable of removing all kinds of stains. Only extrinsic stains or stains on the surface of the teeth can be broken down by whitening gels. Intrinsic stains present in the dentin caused due to injury, gum diseases and trauma do not respond to teeth whitening.

Also, children should not be exposed to teeth whitening because whitening gels are known to damage the live tissues present in the pulp chamber. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also abstain from teeth whitening.

6.  You can whiten your teeth through DIY baking soda paste and hydrogen peroxide

You can see a lot of people going crazy with their DIY solutions on Instagram and YouTube. You may have seen people use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to whiten their teeth at home and it must have looked tempting. Hey, DON’T DO IT!

Baking soda upsets the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your mouth and erodes the enamel. It makes teeth thinner and thinner only to leave them discolored and yellow. Hydrogen Peroxide causes reactions in the mouth, which accelerate aging of living cells. It also damages the oral tissues.

7.  Whitening toothpaste and chewing gums can whiten your teeth

Market shelves have been flooded with whitening toothpaste and attract the attention of many. These tubes of toothpaste do have whitening chemicals, but their concentration is too low to produce any whitening effects. Moreover, whitening products need to be in contact with the teeth for more than 20 minutes to produce any color change. Tubes of toothpaste with more abrasive chemicals can cause a little whitening effect. The same is true for whitening chewing gums.

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