Teeth whitening's a hot topic right now. But with so many whitening products and treatments now available to us, it can be hard to figure out what's effective, and more importantly, what's safe.
However, for all its popularity today, myths about teeth whitening still abound. Some of these myths are simply inaccurate or the whitener’s they advocate just don’t work. Worse, however, some of them can do more harm than good.
So, whatever you do, don’t believe the teeth whitening myths listed below:
1. Over-the-counter teeth-whitening products are as effective as professional treatments.
A number of scientific studies have found that sodium chlorite, an active ingredient in most over-the-counter teeth-whitening products, could significantly reduce the hardness of teeth in the presence of an acid, and make them susceptible to surface abrasions in the future.
Hydrogen Peroxide, when it comes into contact with the tissues, causes free radical reactions. These are the same reactions that age living tissue.
While these “whitening” toothpaste and chewing gums may have whitening chemicals in them, they are far too weak to have an effect. Whitening chemicals need to be in contact with the teeth for a minimum of 20 minutes in order to effect a color change.
2. Teeth whitening products can harm your enamel.
To be fair, some of the teeth whitening products that you can buy over the counter may do some damage on your enamel or gums, especially if you overuse it. However, your teeth and gums will be perfectly fine after teeth whitening if your dentist used a high-strength whitening gel.
3. You can whiten your teeth with baking soda.
This simply doesn’t work and will disrupt the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your mouth.
4. Teeth-whitening makes teeth weak and sensitive.
Just because you have sensitive teeth doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t do anything about the stains and discoloration that stop you from showing your full smile to the public. The truth is that like any medical procedure, teeth-whitening is also accompanied by a number of potential risks, including sensitivity, gum irritation, or even nerve damage. However, having the procedure carried out by a licensed professional dental health provider can help avoid or minimize those risks significantly. In addition, studies have also shown that the latest teeth-whitening technology, such as whitening gels activated by diode lasers; shows little to no surface alterations, damage, or sensitivity, in comparison to most conventional whitening products.
5. Once whitened, teeth will stay white forever.
Teeth whitening is believed to last up to three years. However, the duration may differ depending on the person. For those who eat or drink teeth-staining products such as coffee, tea, and red wine, amongst many other things, the likelihood of their teeth remaining white for such a period of time is low. The same goes for those who smoke.
6. You can whiten your teeth using acidic fruits.
True, but at a cost. The way it works is the acids eat away at your teeth enamel. In the end, you can do permanent damage to your teeth if you take this route to whiten your teeth.