White teeth are often considered to be a sign of good oral hygiene and excellent care and attention when it comes to cleaning and flossing. But, contrary to popular belief, white teeth are not necessarily healthy – or even particularly clean and well-cared-for teeth.
This blog is all about exposing the myths that surround the teeth whitening industry, helping patients far and wide to distinguish the difference between aesthetically whitened teeth and genuinely healthy and well-cared-for teeth.
To get started, let’s dive a little deeper into the aforementioned myth around white teeth equalling healthy teeth – and why this isn’t always the case…
- White teeth equal healthy teeth
Unfortunately, having white teeth doesn’t mean that there aren’t potential underlying issues – particularly if you choose to invest in a whitening treatment without improving your oral hygiene routine to minimise gum disease and other dental issues.
Even the pearliest, whitest teeth can still have cavities, underlying gum disease, and other issues at play. Which is why it’s so important that your search for whiter teeth does not overrule your approach to a good dental routine, including regular cleaning, flossing, and dental appointments.
- Professional and at-home treatments deliver the same results
Unfortunately, this is not true – with DIY treatments and even store-bought whitening products containing such low concentrations of whitening components that they are unlikely to have any magnanimous or lasting effect.
And, while we’re on this particular topic and the difference between professional and DIY whitening treatments, another myth we need to debunk is this…
- Professional teeth whitening isn’t worth the cost
If you want to benefit from effective and long-lasting whitening, then you can’t do any better than a professional teeth whitening treatment.
A professional whitening treatment performed by a dental consultant or trained dentist uses leading tools developed within the dental industry, which bridges your desire for whiter teeth with an underlying need for oral health and hygiene. Steering away from bleaches and other ingredients which could cause damage or irritation, professional teeth whitening uses industry-leading tools and treatment plans, which protect your teeth as well as brighten your smile.
- Whitening your teeth causes damage to the enamel
Again, if you opt for a professional teeth whitening treatment, then you can be sure that the brightening results are achieved without causing damage to the structure of your teeth.
When you opt for a whitening treatment, it is the dentin of the tooth which is targeted – using a whitening solution that alters the colour of this dentin without impacting the enamel. This is achieved by combining a whitening solution or agent with a direct laser treatment that activates the ingredients in the whitening solution without damaging the teeth.
- Strawberries are a natural tooth whitener
There are some dental myths out there that are simply untrue, while others can be genuinely harmful if people believe and follow them. This is one of those that falls into the latter category, as not only do strawberries have no effect on the colour of your teeth, but eating too many of them can exacerbate tooth decay as a result of the high acidity and natural sugar in the fruit.
In fact, eating too many strawberries can cause irreversible damage to the teeth – making this a whitening myth to steer well clear of.
- Crowns and veneers can be whitened
This is an interesting one that most people don’t really think about – however, teeth whitening products and treatments are designed to work on natural teeth only. Formulated to oxidise the stains on the teeth and lift them away, this same process only works on the layers of a natural tooth, and so is not effective on the porcelain of a crown or veneer.
For those who are booking a teeth whitening treatment, you will likely find that any crowns or veneers will need to be replaced completely if you want them to match your new, pearly smile.
- Whitened teeth will stay white
Just as with any aesthetic treatment, teeth whitening is a process which requires touch-ups and the correct level of aftercare in order to ensure that the results remain effective in the long run.
Of course, the potency of the treatment used will have an effect on how long the results last for, with a professional whitening treatment certainly the most efficient in terms of the longevity of results and how visible those results are. Having said that, even the most professional treatment requires a comprehensive approach to oral hygiene to keep the teeth looking their best – with those seeking lifelong white teeth likely needing to invest in touch-ups every so often to counteract any yellowing or discolouration.
- Expensive whitening toothpastes are effective
Last but not least, it’s time to infuse a little reality into the growing market around whitening toothpastes. The fact is that even those toothpastes that contain the components required to whiten the teeth effectively are integrated in such low concentrations and doses that they have a very minimal effect.
What’s more, most of the whitening components used to brighten your smile need to sit on the teeth for a period of time in order to activate and work. When you brush your teeth, you apply the toothpaste and, not long after, brush and rinse it away – meaning that the ingredients never really have time to have any lasting effect. So, even if the components of the toothpaste were effective at whitening the teeth, the way the product is used means that the results will be minimal.
Is professional teeth whitening something I should consider?
A brighter, whiter smile can have a positive impact on the look of your teeth and is something which we find instils and buoys self-confidence in a lot of our clients. While white teeth are no indicator of good oral hygiene, they can give you a smile to be proud of – with professional teeth whitening one of the services that we offer alongside other dental treatments to maximise the health and stability of your teeth in the long run.
If you want to brighten your smile and invest in the look of your teeth, find out more about professional whitening services at your local clinic or dentist.