Fact or Fiction? Teeth Whitening Myths Busted
With the number of teeth whitening options at different prices out there, you may not know which ones are the safest and most effective. Don’t worry, Dr Edward Wong, Dental Surgeon, Raffles Dental, shares some of the top teeth whitening myths and the truth about brightening your smile.
Myth 1: Whitening toothpastes work as well as professional whitening
Most teeth whitening toothpastes on the market include mild abrasive substances, which can only remove surface stains. This will not whiten the internal structure of the teeth like professionally supplied teeth whitening does, and overusing them can cause unwanted damage to the teeth & gums.
That said, there are some toothpastes which do contain peroxide, which is the active ingredient found in professional teeth whitening gels. However, the concentration is much lower and the time it is in contact with your teeth too short to be as effective as professional teeth whitening.
Myth 2 : Teeth whitening is painful
You will not feel pain during the teeth whitening procedure. There are, however, side effects to it. The most common one is tooth sensitivity after the procedure. If the whitening solution gets onto your gums, they may experience irritation. Your dentist will advise how to manage these side effects if you are affected.
Myth 3: Teeth whitening will cause long-term damage to my teeth
Professional teeth whitening products are safe as long as the patient has been examined by their dentist. Approved teeth whitening products contain active ingredients such as carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide, which are safe to use. You should only seek treatment from a licensed dentist and follow their instructions while using teeth whitening products.
Myth 4: Tooth whitening lasts forever
No, teeth whitening will not last forever. Your teeth will stay at a lighter shade for up to three years, depending on the method used, and how easily your teeth stain. Your lifestyle habits, such as your diet, will impact how long your tooth stays whitened.
Don’t worry if you find your teeth losing that shade of white – you can always return to your dentist to get them re-whitened, just like maintaining a suntan!
Myth 5: Teeth whitening is for everyone
You may not be suitable for teeth whitening if you have sensitive teeth, untreated cavities, exposed root surfaces or have existing large restorations on your front teeth. It is also not recommended for children under the age of 16, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or anyone with a peroxide allergy. Consult a dentist on whether teeth whitening may be suitable for you.