Who wouldn’t wish to have a healthy and beautifully white smile? For most of us, this is the dream. However, there are so many misconceptions around the teeth whitening process and techniques which lead us to this article’s creation.
The dental professionals in our clinic analysed the most common teeth whitening myths and offered all essential information that no one should overpass. So let’s review them one by one!
1. Professional whitening is the same as home kits and over-the-counter products
To break down this myth, first, we need to understand the available treatment alternatives.
Professional teeth whitening (also called dental bleaching) will occur in a dental office. Only a professional can use the right techniques depending on the patient’s needs and proceed with your treatment.
There are also available at-home whitening kits with customised gel trays. A dental professional offers these kits with instructions and an observation plan to monitor the process.
There are also different over-the-counter (OTC) products available like whitening toothpastes, strips, gels, or gums that you can use at home by yourself.
Lastly, we can’t ignore all those remedies and DIY methods that anyone can find online.
As you might have already thought, anything provided by a certified professional can be safely used and be effective. The OCT products are safe-to-use but will definitely need more time to show their results and might not be what you expected. As for the home remedies, no scientific data indicate their efficiency or safety.
2. Teeth whitening can last a lifetime
Unfortunately, no matter how great it would be to have a permanent result, this is impractical for many reasons.
The lasting period can vary from person to person, the type of the chosen whitening procedure, someone’s lifestyle, eating habits, aftercare, and many more.
Typically, professional whitening kits and in-office treatments tend to have longer results, but they can’t be preserved for more than a couple of years. Other methods like the typical over-the-counter products can retain a good result for a few weeks.
3. All teeth are eligible candidates for whitening
This is one of the most common misconceptions that lead to many unwanted results. So let’s clarify a few things.
First, teeth whitening techniques can be applied to your natural teeth and not on other teeth restorations like your veneers or crowns.
Second, it’s essential to ensure that there aren’t any dental issues involved. If you have tooth decay or an open cavity, the use of whitening products can lead to more severe damage.
Third, your natural teeth’ colour can also determine the outcome or even whether you should actually invest in whitening treatments. For example, people with yellow-colour (yellowish hue) teeth tend to have better results.
We highly recommend getting a dentist’s consultation before following any whitening treatment. This way, you won’t waste your money without getting the results you want, but also you’ll boost your overall dental health.
4. Whitening will make your teeth look unnatural
Although we probably all have stared at someone’s unusually bright smile walking by us or on tv or a movie, this doesn’t mean that you’ll get the same result.
If you opt for a professional treatment, this shouldn’t worry you. Your dentist will make sure to find the best shade based on your natural colour.
But even if you choose a home kit or other whitening products and strictly follow their instructions, you can always stop using them when you achieve a good result.
Our advice is not to get tempted to go for the brightest choice. Two to three shades brighter than your natural teeth colour can make a significant difference.
5. Teeth whitening products don’t involve any risks
All whitening techniques are less-invasive aesthetic procedures, which is why many people consider them safe without any risks.
However, all of them use different amounts of peroxide-based ingredients and other chemicals that can intensify the damage in any pre-existing dental issue (like gum disease or tooth decay). This could lead to experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, and you’ll probably need some additional dental treatments.
Keep in mind that there is always a risk, even with zero issues involved. For example, during a home whitening process, if anything goes wrong or something is misused, you might experience temporary pain or sensitivity, and, in rarer cases, you could cause a burn at your gums.
Of course, all of these won’t be considered risks if you get professional advice and follow a recommended for your needs treatment.
6. Home remedies or DIY methods will safely whiten your teeth
We are confident that most of you have read or watched videos online with ultimate whitening tips and hacks with natural ingredients to test on your home.
Some famous examples are eating and rubbing fruits that contain acid, mixing lemons with baking soda, using vinegar, oil pulling (mainly coconut oil), and much more.
To be absolutely fair, we can’t say with certainty that this is a myth. Several studies have been made, but there aren’t sufficient results that scientifically prove their efficiency or safety.
When trying to fix something, there is always the risk of creating more harm than good. So, please avoid any of these methods, at least without first consulting your dentist.
7. Activated charcoal will whiten your teeth
These past few years, many dental products that use activated charcoal have been accessible and promise excellent whiting results (like toothpastes, powders, gels, etc.) and other benefits.
Again here, the truth is that there are no data that proves charcoal’s whitening benefits, but there are some concerns about its safeness.
It would be best to avoid such products and especially not use them for a long-lasting period.
We manage to address some of the most wrongly-believed concepts around teeth whitening and its methods. If you’ve read so far, you definitely understand the importance of a professional consultation; it’s the only way of having a safe and desirable outcome.
At the Swedish dental clinic, we always help our patients gain and preserve their oral hygiene and offer our services to make them smile again. If you’re interested in investing in a brighter and perfect-looking smile, don’t hesitate to contact us for a personalized consultation.