It’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t wished for whiter teeth. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to the celebrities we see in magazines and on TV with their brilliant smiles. And it’s easy to tell in a selfie when your BFF has a smile several shades brighter than yours.
But do you really know about how to safely, effectively get whiter teeth? Or are myths and misconceptions clouding your judgment on the subject? Today we’ll tackle 3 common myths about teeth whitening and set the record straight.
Myth #1: Whitening Damages Your Teeth
It’s common for people to fear that teeth whitening will damage their enamel. But if your whitening is performed by a trained dental professional (rather than a beauty salon, or using a DIY or over-the-counter solution) your teeth are perfectly safe.
Unfortunately, if you aren’t going to your dentist for your bleaching treatment, damage to your enamel is a very real possibility. Teeth whitening is a dental procedure, so having it performed by someone who isn’t a dentist or dental hygienist is a potential risk.
At-home teeth whitening can be dangerous, too — particularly if you don’t follow the instructions to the letter. That’s why it’s key to see an experienced dentist for your whitening procedure to ensure that your teeth stay safe. At the minimum, please consult a dentist before starting an at-home whitening routine. Don’t use multiple whitening products at the same time. If you experience sensitivity or other side effects, stop use of the product right away.
Myth #2: DIY Teeth Whitening is Effective
It’s impossible to navigate the internet without coming across ads promising that some suburban mom has found the secret to quick, effective teeth whitening. “Dentists hate her!” the ads often boast, promising to show you how you can do everything your dentist can with some baking soda and lemons or activated charcoal.
Unfortunately, the only reason dentists would hate someone like that is for damaging gullible people’s teeth. There’s no evidence that activated charcoal can whiten teeth — in fact, it may even damage them. And lemon is acidic, which can weaken your enamel over time, putting your teeth at risk of decay, chipping, and cracking.
The only effective way to whiten your teeth safely is to use methods and materials that have been backed by science, extensively researched, and approved for use.
Myth #3: Teeth Whitening is Permanent
Unfortunately, just as your teeth have become stained and yellowed over time as a result of use, they will become stained and yellowed again. There is no way to permanently whiten your teeth — unless you can find a way to stop eating, drinking, or using your teeth in any way!
Instead, you will need to keep up with your teeth whitening just like you have to keep up with all other forms of dental hygiene. This is yet another reason to see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings, so you can stay on top of both your oral health and oral aesthetics.