We hear a lot of things said about teeth whitening, some good, some bad. Here are the 6 tooth whitening myths that us dentists want you to stop believing
The minor temporary sensitivity you may experience when getting your teeth professionally whitened is different to sensitivity from hot and cold. General sensitivity can be caused by a number of oral health issues so consult your dentist to determine the cause and the appropriate treatment. The good news is that sensitivity can be reduced with de-sensitising products applied prior and post-whitening.
The good news is you don’t have to give up your daily brew if you want to have your teeth whitened or use whitening products. Over time the regular consumption of coffee or tea will stain the tooth’s external layer of enamel. A regular clean at the dentist will remove this type of staining, however stubborn stains will dissolve with a professional whitening treatment. To maintain your brightness post-whitening regular brushing is key and you can always have a top-up whitening when needed.
Interestingly, some people believe that you can’t have your teeth whitened if you have fillings. Thankfully this isn’t the case! Your fillings won’t be affected by whitening agents or magically change colour with a treatment. If you want to create a seamless white smile you can have your existing fillings replaced with white fillings.
Every tooth colour is unique thanks to the thickness and translucency of the tooth’s enamel and the internal composition of the tooth. It’s completely normal to have colour differences across your smile and shouldn’t hold you back from getting your teeth whitened. Teeth whitening will lighten both the yellow or darker internal dentine and any staining or discolouration on the external enamel. By lightening the tooth’s colour and removing staining we can create greater uniformity in colour.
Teeth whitening is the least invasive, safest and cost-effective way to improve the appearance of your smile. However not all whitening products are created equal and it’s important to follow the instructions of the specific product. Over the counter whitening products contain a lower concentration of the whitening agent than professional products. This can lead to over-use to achieve the desired shade of white. As these products can be quite abrasive this can damage the tooth’s enamel. While it is a little more costly, in-chair teeth whitening treatments can achieve up to eight shades lighter in one treatment and are supervised by a dental professional.
We’ve recently seen the rise of charcoal in facial products but this ingredient doesn’t belong anywhere near your teeth. Despite numerous claims by bloggers and vloggers there is no clinical evidence that activated charcoal does any good for your teeth. In fact it’s unclear if activated charcoal is safe and there are concerns that it may be too abrasive to use on your teeth and gums. If you are looking to whiten your teeth consult your dentist as to the most appropriate product for you to use, at the very least stick to approved whitening products on the market.