In short, there are basically two ways to achieve teeth whitening.
The first method is the use of a chemical product that contains bleaching ingredient, which penetrates through enamel and whitens the underlying yellowish tooth structure to achieve whitening effect. The second method involves the use of an abrasive product (such as whitening toothpaste, charcoal powder or paste) that simply removes the superficial staining on the teeth.
Although both methods may sound effective, but only the first one should be considered the safe and effective way of whitening your teeth, as when it is done correctly by a dentist, the results will be least damaging to your teeth, and longer lasting. The second method which may sound more accessible to most people, can cause irreversible damage to your teeth and will only give very temporary effect.
Let’s look at some myths and facts about teeth whitening.
Myth 1: Teeth whitening is not suitable for people with sensitive teeth
Make sure you have a comprehensive assessment with your dentist prior to having your teeth whitened, as most commonly such sensitivity is caused by cavities or gum problems. Once the dentist has checked all your teeth and made sure that your teeth are health, you can then undergo teeth whitening treatment without any major problems.
Although sensitivity has been reported by some patients during teeth whitening, but they are usually quite mild and tolerable, and can be easily managed and relieved by application of desensitising toothpaste or tooth mousse.
Myth 2: Charcoal teeth whitening is useful and less harmful
There is not enough scientific evidence to demonstrate that charcoal paste or powder will whiten teeth. In fact, the results you are seeing is most likely due to the abrasive effect of the powder that rubs away the surface stains on your teeth. However, the biggest concern is the irreversible damage caused on the delicate enamel, which will lead to surface wear and sensitivity.
Myth 3: Using home remedies such as lemon & baking soda to rub on my teeth will whiten them
This is a recipe of disaster!
It should be quite intuitive that too much acid is not good for your teeth. In fact, the combination of citric acid and baking soda will create an extremely abrasive and acidic solution that might be good for cleaning your toilet tiles, but will only be a disaster for your teeth. Such remedy may lead to a temporary off-white look on your teeth because the surface enamel and calcium has been dissolved away, but the teeth will be thinned and softened as a result and will not be reversible. As a long-term result, the tooth will become more porous on the surface (microscopically) and retain more staining overtime.
Myth 4: Whitening toothpaste is effective and safe to use.
Not entirely effective, or safe!
As mentioned at the start, whitening toothpastes mainly “work” by rubbing off the surface staining with the tiny abrasive particles it contains, which could cause surface damage on the enamel and lead to long term consequences such as tooth wear and sensitivity. The damaged tooth surface will also tend to collect and trap more stains.
Some whitening toothpastes may claim that they contain a small amount of active chemical ingredient that works on brightening the shade of your teeth. However, the amount of time that the active ingredient is in contact with the teeth will be too minimal to have any actual effect. So extremely unlikely that these toothpastes will cause any major improvement.
Myth 5: Once whitened, my teeth will stay pearly white forever!
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. The effect of teeth whitening usually tend to fade after 6 months to 2 years, but how long they last will also depend on your diet, if you are a tea or coffee lover then the teeth tend to discolour quicker. However, if you ever need to top up with the whitening, it is always easy to buy some more whitening gels and apply to your whitening trays. Simple!
We are making a Special Christmas Offer for take home bleaching kit, for $149 you will get custom-made whitening trays, a designated case to keep your trays safe, and bleaching gels.
Contact our team at Lara Village Dental today on 52825272 or book online to make your teeth sparkly white for the festive season!
Hurry up while stocks last!