Ask 100 different people about teeth whitening and you’ll probably get 100 different answers. Some pluck what seems to be logic out of thin air, while others believe anything and everything they read. However, the only source of teeth whitening information you should trust is the professional dental community.
This is where fact meets fiction. While millions worldwide prioritise the whiteness of their teeth, comparatively few truly understand the subject. In most instances, they’ve bought into more myths and untruths over the years than they realise. Some of which stand in the way of the white smile they’re working on.
For this post, therefore, we thought we’d set the record straight on a few teeth whitening untruths. Enjoying the confidence of a whiter smile doesn’t have to be difficult, but will always be more of a challenge if you believe any of the following:
1. Teeth whitening is impossible with caps, veneers, crowns etc.
If you thought it was impossible to whiten the surface of crowns, veneers and so on, think again. While conventional whitening kits may not get the job done, it’s still perfectly possible to improve their appearance with professional treatment. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the appearance of your dental work, speak to your dentist at your earliest convenience. Once your teeth and caps veneers etc. have been whitened, keeping them white is the same as keeping your natural teeth white. Protect them from stains and they’ll continue looking great indefinitely.
2. Teeth whitening is too expensive
On one hand, you could easily spend three figures on a course of professional teeth whitening. Nevertheless, there’s nothing to say that you have to. Year after year, the quality and effectiveness of the best teeth whitening kits on the market is taken a step further. Today, it’s perfectly possible to reverse years of stains and discolouration at home. All for a comprehensively affordable price. Even if the results aren’t quite as stunning as a professional treatment, you’ll still be looking at a whiter and brighter smile in no time.
3. Teeth whitening takes too long
Again, this depends entirely on your approach. With some DIY teeth whitening kits, it can take a good few applications for the full effect to show through. This means using the kit as recommended by the manufacturer for a few weeks or so. By contrast, professional teeth whitening at the dentist’s office can be much quicker. Even after a single treatment, teeth appear significantly whiter and brighter. Hence, if you’re in a hurry, the pro option is the way to go.
4. Whitened teeth stay white long-term
Unfortunately, there isn’t a teeth whitening treatment in the world that guarantees long-term results. In fact, even a course of professional teeth whitening treatment can only produce temporary results at best. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to hold onto a bright and white smile for the duration. It simply means that you have to make the necessary effort to keep them white. This is where whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes and quality electric toothbrushes come into the mix. Not to mention, the kinds of lifestyle habits that could reverse all the benefit of your teeth whitening treatment in no time.
5. Active charcoal is a miracle whitening product
The science behind active charcoal as an ingredient in dental products is sound. However, comparatively few clinical tests into the effectiveness of charcoal as a whitening agent have been carried out. Nevertheless, manufacturers worldwide are marketing active charcoal toothpastes as if they are a miracle ‘cure’ for discoloured teeth. Unfortunate as it is, this simply isn’t the case at all. They might work, but they also might not. Even if they do, they may not justify their elevated costs. Ask any dentist and they’ll tell you the same. For the time being at least, stick exclusively with tried, tested and trusted products, backed by clinical tests and research.
6. Teeth whitening producers unnatural results
Nobody wants to suffer the same fate as Ross from Friends. Sadly, you’ll occasionally come across someone who’s whiten their teeth so intensively they no longer look human. There’s a fine line between a whiter smile and a smile so white it’s borderline creepy. In the case of the latter, this is something that only occurs when treatments are used incorrectly. If the manufacturer states that the strips should be left on for no more than an hour, it’s advice to take seriously. If you’re not supposed to repeat the treatment for at least a month, don’t go applying it again the next day.
7. Teeth whitening products cause sensitivity
There’s actually some truth to this, as some teeth whitening products can indeed increase sensitivity. The more intensive and aggressive the whitening agent used, the higher the risk. Likewise, if you already have sensitive teeth, using certain lightening products can make the sensitivity more pronounced. But at the same time, there are also plenty of teeth whitening products that are 100% safe for sensitive teeth. Again, used in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, there’s no reason why they should cause sensitivity.
8. Discoloured teeth are unhealthy teeth
Last but not least, this is perhaps the most widespread teeth whitening myth of all. Nobody would argue that a pearly-white smile looks fantastic. Likewise, few would call a mouth full of stained and discoloured teeth attractive. Nevertheless, this doesn’t necessarily mean that one is inherently ‘healthier’ than the other. Discoloured teeth can be perfectly healthy, just as gleaming white teeth can be in pretty bad shape. For the most part, it’s impossible to establish the health or otherwise of a person’s teeth, simply from their colour alone. It’s just that we’ve been programmed to associate whiter teeth with better oral health, which simply isn’t the case at all.