Whether your pearly whites aren’t looking so pearly or your teeth have darkened with age, there’s many reasons why people want a whiter smile.
At HealthOne Dental, we’re strong believers that a bright, vibrant smile can change how you see the world and how the world sees you.
With so many myths and misconceptions available, it can feel challenging to navigate the do’s and don’ts of the dental world.
Understanding the difference between fact and fiction can help you make educated choices on your path to inspired living.
We sat down with HealthOne Dentist, Dr. Yasmin Vakilian, to get her expert knowledge on the teeth whitening myths she hears most often.
Myth #1 - White Teeth Are Healthy Teeth
On the journey to a brighter smile, it’s crucial to remember the importance of oral health. According to Yasmin, it’s one of the biggest factors people overlook when it comes to teeth whitening.
“It’s an easy mistake to make for the general public, but just because teeth are white and shiny doesn’t mean they’re healthy on the inside. On the contrary, dark or discoloured teeth aren’t necessarily unhealthy or decayed.”
She also shared that patients can have unrealistic expectations of their future smile. Some people hope their teeth will be “blinding white” after treatment.
This is why HealthOne recommends a professional consultation before using any teeth whitening products. You can discuss any concerns you have and receive guidance from a professional, which will minimize the likelihood of causing irreversible damage.
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Myth #2 - Household Products Can Whiten Your Teeth
You may have myths that household products are the ticket to a winning smile. Fruits, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are some of the home remedies people claim can have bleaching abilities. But what do the experts say?
A study from the National Library of Medicine found that a mixture of strawberries and baking powder had little to no impact on the surface stains of teeth compared to professional treatment.
Aside from this, very little research exists to prove any of these claims. “We’re living in a world of DIY, but when it comes to your teeth and the health of your teeth, DIY is not a great option,” Yasmin shared.
So try making dessert with your strawberries and baking powder instead of hoping they whiten your smile! While you're at it, make sure you focus on proper oral hygiene to maintain healthy teeth overall. Have you ever fallen asleep one night and wondered, "What happens if I don't brush my teeth for a day?"
You might think you can get away with it occasionally. But if you don't brush your teeth for a day, bacteria will grow in the form of plaque. This can cause cavities as well as gum disease. Plaque can also turn into tartar, which can cause further oral health issues like gum inflammation, bleeding, cavities, and tooth decay.
Myth #3 - Over-The Counter and Professional Products Work the Same
Achieving a whiter smile from the comfort of your couch is a win-win. But not all teeth whitening products are created equal. Popular over the counter products like toothpastes, rinses, and whitening strips are convenient but can run serious risks that are crucial to consider.
“DIY teeth whitening kits can damage your teeth in an irreversible way, so it ends up being a double-edged sword,” mentioned Yasmin. “Many options on the market these days can also be purchased for lower prices, but it’s important to remember they can be detrimental to the health of your teeth.”
Alternatively, professional-level teeth whitening products can be prescribed and used at home.
At HealthOne, a member of our dental team will create a mold of your teeth, then give you a custom tray and professional-grade whitening gel to use. Typically the 2 syringes of gel provided will last for 1-2 years' worth of treatment.
In terms of the difference, our dentist explained it best: “Professionals are able to provide stronger and more efficient whitening gels that you can’t find online or at drug stores. The product used by our team has 35% carbamide peroxide and is completely safe for patients to use."
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Myth #4 - Teeth Whitening Damages Your Enamel
Enamel is a thin layer of hard tissue that covers and protects your teeth. You may have heard that overbrushing your teeth, acidic foods and soft drinks can damage this sensitive tissue. But does the same apply to whitening products? According to Yasmin, the answer is no.
“Experts say this is not true. The whitening agents used by the dentist have very special safety certifications that come with them.”
Patients with thin or de-mineralized enamel might not be the right candidate for teeth whitening treatments. This is why a consultation with your dental professional is the best way to determine your suitability.
Myth #5 - Teeth Whitening Is for Everyone
There are a number of factors to consider about your oral health before starting a teeth whitening procedure.
Anyone under the age of 16 is not well suited since their bodies – and their enamel – are still growing.
Patients also may not be good candidates if they have periodontal [gum] disease, tooth decay, cavities, exposed roots, or highly sensitive teeth.
Yasmin also shared that you might not be a good candidate if your desired results are too unrealistic. “Whitening will not give you pearly white teeth all the time, so you can’t have too high of expectations. It’s again why it’s very important to have a consultation prior to whitening.”
Aside from these factors, people with healthy teeth and gums should consider treatment if it’s of interest to them. By having a consultation with a dentist such as Dr. Vakilian, you can begin your journey to a better smile safely and with confidence.
We hope our expert views of these common myths give you a better understanding of your options for achieving a radiant, whiter smile! Click here to learn more about the services HealthOne Dental offers.