The Internet is full of “life hacks” and “DIY” formulas. While these solutions can sometimes be helpful, cost-effective and convenient, you can’t trust everything you read on the Internet – especially when it comes to your teeth. For example, teeth whitening gets a lot of attention among people who want to find quick remedies to brighten their smile at minimal expense.
Whether it is a trick posted on social media or your great Aunt’s secret recipe, there are dangers to believing everything you hear about teeth whitening. Even though some opinions may be factual, there are others that can be ineffective and even cause irreversible dental damage.
If you want to lighten the shade of your smile, don’t believe these common myths about teeth whitening:
Baking Soda or Hydrogen Peroxide Can Be Used to Whiten Teeth
Not only will you fail to get whiter teeth, but these products don’t support optimal oral health. Baking soda can disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in your mouth and hydrogen peroxide that can damage oral tissues.
Whitening Toothpaste and Whitening Gum Produce Noticeable Results
While these products are marketed as “whitening,” the whitening chemicals that they contain are too weak to produce significant results. Whitening chemicals need to be more concentrated and on the teeth for more than twenty minutes to affect tooth shade.
Professional Whitening Gels and At-Home (OTC) Whitening Gels Are Equal
In most cases, professional whitening gel that you get from your dentist has a much stronger level of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, which are the active ingredients that whiten teeth.
The Stronger the Gel the Better the Whitening
Stronger whitening gels do work faster. However, the whitening effect may not last as long and could also include sensitivity and pain. Lower concentration whitening gels can be safer and longer-lasting.
Strawberries and Lemons Can Be Used to Whiten Teeth
There is some factual evidence when it comes to these fruits lightening the color of your teeth. However, the cost is enamel erosion from high amounts of acidity. This can cause permanent damage to your smile and increases your chances for decay, sensitivity and other problems.
Crowns, Fillings and Veneers Can Be Whitened Too
While these restorations can be fabricated in various shades of white, they cannot be bleached or whitened like your natural teeth. If your teeth are whiter than your crowns or veneers, you’ll need to consider replacing them.
Whitening is Safe for Kids
Children’s teeth have living tissue that need to be protected. In most cases, whitening is not recommended for pediatric patients.
The only surefire way to know what is safe and effective in terms of teeth whitening is to consult with your dentist. At Gilreath Dental Associates, we stay at the forefront of the latest teeth whitening products and treatments. Call our office today to learn the most cost-effective method to gain a brighter and more confident smile!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,