Your teeth can leave a lasting impression — on first dates, during interviews and in photos. Wanting them to stand out and shine on every occasion is normal. Brighter teeth can enhance your confidence and provide a picture-perfect smile.
Whitening your teeth can be an excellent solution to achieving the above. However, before you opt for a teeth whitening solution, you want to ensure it’ll give you the desired effect and results. The best way to do this is by understanding the truth behind teeth whitening and how to make it work for you.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening uses chemical bleach or physical abrasion to penetrate or scrape enamel and remove teeth stains and discoloration.
Chemical bleaching methods like wax strips and mouthwashes contain hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down dark-colored teeth molecules and bleaches teeth to a lighter or whiter colour.
Physical abrasion methods like toothpaste use a grinding force to remove stains and discoloration. For example, when you brush your teeth with a granular whitening toothpaste, the granules rub against your teeth with the pressure of your toothbrush and remove discoloration on the surface, making your teeth look whiter.
Debunking Teeth Whitening Myths
While teeth whitening is extremely popular, there are many misconceptions about the practice. Myths about teeth whitening can make knowing what works when trying to get whiter teeth challenging. You might spend time and money using methods that won’t get you the results you’re looking for.
To help you avoid spending valuable money and time on ineffective methods, let’s debunk some common teeth-whitening myths:
Gargling With Coconut Oil
While coconut oil may have many health and beauty benefits, no scientific evidence exists to prove it whitens teeth. Unlike many approved teeth-whitening solutions, coconut oil lacks a primary ingredient — a whitening agent. If you’re gargling with coconut oil, you might get an oily film over your teeth and a bitter taste in your mouth, but you won’t see a change in the colour of your teeth.
Rubbing Acidic Fruit on Your Teeth
Scrolling online, you’re bound to see a video of someone rubbing lemons on their teeth in one frame and, in the following, beautiful, bright white teeth. All this means is that the person in the video probably uses a professional teeth whitening kit or gets regular dental whitening sessions. Sadly, limes, grapefruit and other acidic fruits don’t whiten your teeth. In fact, too much acidity can negatively affect the teeth, especially enamel.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could whiten your veneers, fillings and crowns? Most of these are white enough already, but if yours aren’t, know that traditional whitening methods won’t do much for veneers or other treatments. Instead, teeth whitening is most effective on natural teeth.
Brushing With Baking Soda
Baking soda is a common physical abrasion technique. However, like coconut oil, there is no evidence to prove that it’ll remove stains and whiten your teeth. While there is no evidence that using baking soda will harm your teeth, you might want to spend your time and money on a more effective method.
Using Activated Charcoal
Using activated charcoal is another teeth-whitening myth. Activated charcoal can be overly abrasive to your teeth and harm the enamel. Plus, there is no scientific evidence to prove that it works.
Teeth Whitening Facts
Now that we’ve debunked the myths, let’s look at some of the facts about teeth whitening:
- Home kits can work on minor stains, but you’ll need professional dentistry care to remove extensive stains and discoloration.
- At-home chemical bleaching kits have lower chemical properties than professional bleaches and will take you longer to see results.
- In-office dental whitening treatments last longer due to higher chemical concentration levels and techniques administered by professionals.
- At-home kits are safe to use when following the correct dosages and instructions.
- Using an approved and high-quality tooth whitening method is the best solution for protecting your enamel.
- Teeth whitening is safe for people with sensitive teeth, and dental professionals can prescribe suitable methods that do not impact sensitivity.
- Teeth whitening results vary depending on the person, and some people can have better outcomes than others.
- Whether you use professional or at-home teeth whitening, the results are not permanent and require continuous sessions.
At-Home vs. Professional Teeth Whitening
One of the most significant differences between at-home and professional teeth whitening is the time you’ll take to get the desired results. In-office teeth whitening can offer better, faster results due to the quality of whitening methods and agents. While both ways can be effective, teeth whitening depends on your level of discoloration and stains.
Safe Teeth Whitening Practices at Home
Whether you’re using in-office or at-home dental whitening, doing so safely is critical. Professionals follow many approved protocols when performing teeth whitening treatments. Here are some of the practices you can follow when using at-home teeth whitening kits:
- Follow product instructions: Teeth whitening products can have different chemical levels and properties. Overusing or misusing products can harm your teeth or gums. Ensure you always follow product instructions for safe use.
- Get professional recommendations: Your teeth are unique, and what works for others might not work for you. Getting a dental professional’s advice for using a specific product is vital to ensure you use a safe and effective solution.
- Take note of side effects: Some teeth whitening products might cause reactions or side effects like teeth sensitivity. It’s important to note any side effects you experience. These can indicate that you need to change products or are overusing them. Take a break from teeth whitening products and get advice from your dental professional if you notice any side effects.
- Use Canadian Dental Association-approved kits: Look for approval seals on your whitening gel, toothpaste, strips or other solutions. This stamp of approval means that the products were quality tested and checked and are safe for use.
Long-Term Impacts of Teeth Whitening
Over-whitening or extended teeth whitening can impact your teeth. Teeth whitening is safest when administered in doses by a dental professional, especially over extended periods. If you whiten your teeth, going for regular checkups is best to ensure you’re not causing harm to your teeth. Here are some common effects of long-term teeth whitening:
- Increased gum and teeth sensitivity
- Reduced mineral content in teeth
- Teeth breakage or erosion
- Minor gingivitis and periodontitis issues
Contact Dental Choice for Professional Teeth Whitening
Getting professional dental advice and teeth whitening can help you achieve the desired results. At Dental Choice, we can advise and assist you with a teeth whitening treatment that works for you. We focus on helping you get the best dental treatment and care and will answer all your questions on teeth whitening and other dental treatments.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!