Cosmetic Dentistry: Debunking Myths About Teeth Whitening

girl with white teeth

Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures, making teeth multiple shades whiter and giving people the confidence they desire in their smiles. Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to teeth whitening. By understanding the truths behind some of the common teeth whitening myths, you can make better decisions for your oral health.

Myth 1: You Can Whiten at Home With Baking Soda and Peroxide

Why visit the dentist's office for professional whitening when you can make your own whitening paste at home? Many people try DIY whitening by combining baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste, which they then rub onto their teeth. However, this is not recommended, as baking soda is very abrasive and, when scrubbed onto teeth, can wear away the enamel and cause long-term damage. The safest and most effective way to whiten teeth is always to have it done by a professional.

Myth 2: Crowns and Veneers Can Be Whitened

If you have visible crowns and/or veneers, you might be thinking that they'll take to whitening products in the same manner as your natural teeth. Unfortunately, this simply isn't the case. Veneers and crowns are made out of a material that's quite different from your natural teeth and not porous; as a result, they're not able to be whitened.

If you're thinking about having your teeth whitened, you may want to consider speaking with your dentist about having your crowns or veneers replaced to match the new shade of white on your teeth. This way, they'll look the most natural.

Myth 3: Whitening Makes Your Teeth Sensitive

One of the most common reasons people shy away from having teeth whitening done is that they've heard it can damage your teeth and make them more sensitive. However, provided that the teeth whitening is done properly, this simply isn't true. In most cases, people who end up with sensitive teeth or gums as a result of whitening do so because they've attempted to whiten their own teeth and got some of the whitening agent on their gums. This can easily lead to sensitivity and even pain.

This is yet another reason why teeth whitening should really be left to the professionals. By having your teeth whitened by an experienced cosmetic dentist, you can rest assured that your teeth will not only look great, but that they won't be damaged in the process.

Myth 4: The Effects of Whitening Will Last Forever

Last but not least, understand that if you have whitening done on your teeth, the effects aren't going to last forever. In order to maintain the level of whiteness, you'll need to have the procedure re-done every once in awhile.

However, there are some steps you can take after whitening to prolong the effects and keep your teeth looking whiter for longer. For starters, consider avoiding foods and beverages that are known to stain teeth, such as coffee, wine, and fruit juices. If you must drink them, wash them down with water and/or drink them through a straw.

Furthermore, consider using a whitening toothpaste. And if you're a smoker, understand that this can cause yellowing of the teeth as well. In addition to the numerous health benefits you'll enjoy by quitting, you'll also enjoy whiter and brighter teeth as a non-smoker.

Now that you have a better understanding of teeth whitening, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment to have yours professionally done. If you're looking for an experienced and friendly cosmetic dentist for the job, contact us today. We'd be happy to schedule an appointment for a whitening consultation.