The Truth About Teeth Whitening and Bleaching

Raise your hand, better yet comment below, if you have heard of at least one tooth whiten-ing product or procedure. Could it be that we all crave bright white teeth? So much so that many people will go to extreme lengths to bleach or whiten their smile.

Although tooth whitening can be a great solution for some people, many don’t know the risks associated with it. We’re sharing the biggest myths about teeth whitening, so strap in and get ready to have your mind blown.

Myth #1: If I bleach my teeth, they’ll turn white.

It’s true that if you whiten your teeth, they’ll probably get lighter, but ONLY if they were yel-low to begin with. Teeth with brown discoloration or with gray discoloration caused by smok-ing don’t respond well to bleach (p.s. please stop smoking, it is bad for you).

It’s also worth noting that if you have fake teeth, a dental fill, or other tooth-colored dental work, the bleach won’t work on these….and you’ll end up with a mouth full of different color teeth.

Myth #2: My teeth are yellow because I drink too much coffee.

There are some foods that do stain your teeth, and coffee is one of them, but that doesn’t mean it’s the sole culprit (you’ll never take my caffeine!). The material inside of teeth chang-es color naturally over time, which means that as you get older, your teeth get less bright white – another joy of aging.

Drinks like coffee, tea, and wine, and habits like smoking can add to this process, but even if you avoid all of these things (how boring that would be), those pearly whites will still get less pearly.

Myth #3: Bleaching my teeth is good for them because it removes stains.

While bleaching does help to remove or reduce stains, it isn’t can cause more harm than good. Bleaching your teeth over time, especially through DIY products, can weaken your enamel. That means that your teeth are more susceptible to acid, sugars, and other sub-stances.

Myth #4: There are no side effects to tooth whitening.

Tooth whitening can cause sensitive teeth or gum irritation. Some procedures even leave patients with little jolts of pain that are sometimes referred to as “zingers.” These happen when the nerves in teeth are irritated by whitening efforts. While zingers only last for a short time, they can be quite painful or alarming, since they come and go without warning. Sounds fun.

Myth #5: If I get my teeth whitened once, as long as I avoid coffee, they’ll stay white.

Again, stop trying to take our caffeine. There is no permanent tooth whitening solution. Teeth naturally discolor over time, so you’ll need to visit your dentist multiple times to keep your smile bright white. If you’re getting your teeth professionally whitened, your dentist will be able to tell you how frequently you’ll need to repeat the whitening.

Myth #6: Tooth whitening products are the only way to remove tooth stains.

Routine and regular cleanings can actually help to remove surface-level stains on your teeth – so go grab the Better Toothbrush. You might realize that all it takes to get white teeth is ongoing brushing, flossing and dental cleanings.

Check out our tips for a healthy smile to keep your teeth in tip-top shape.