3 Tooth Whitening Myths

Posted on: 22 January 2021

Tooth whitening is a safe and popular dental procedure. However, many myths surround it, which are cleared up in the article below. Read on to tackle three of the biggest myths around tooth whitening so you can make the treatment decisions that are right for you.

1. Is Tooth Whitening Bad For Your Teeth?

Many people worry that tooth whitening strips away or weakens dental enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay. The truth is that the procedures dentists use to whiten teeth are strictly controlled. Although they are very effective at removing stains, the chemicals that dentists use do not affect tooth enamel and will not leave your teeth at risk of cavities.

However, before dismissing this myth entirely, it is important to note one caveat. There are many do-it-yourself methods of teeth whitening that can be harmful — as well as ineffective. Steer clear of methods that claim to use acids (such as fruit acids or vinegar) or abrasive substances (such as baking powder) to whiten teeth. These substances perform very poorly at removing dental staining and can weaken the protective enamel coating that protects your teeth from decay.

2. Is Whitening Toothpaste Just as Good as In-Office Tooth Whitening?

If you are looking for a little something to extend the effects of your professional tooth whitening treatments, whitening toothpaste is a good option. Rather than removing existing dental stains, whitening toothpaste is designed to prevent stains from building up on the teeth in the first place. If you are a smoker, enjoy a glass or two of red wine every so often or drink coffee or tea every day, whitening toothpaste could help to avoid those substances staining your teeth, allowing you to go longer between professional whitening sessions.

However, whitening toothpaste is unlikely to have much effect if your teeth are already badly stained. In that case, the best course of action is to schedule a whitening session with your dentist to restore your teeth to their natural shade and then use a whitening toothpaste every day thereafter to maintain your teeth's new whiteness.

3. What About Home Whitening Kits?

Many myths exist around home whitening kits, with some people claiming that they do not work at all, while others say that they are dangerous. The truth is that home whitening kits are safe if used according to the instructions, and they can have a significant effect on the whiteness of your smile. However, the most serious stains are best left to dentists to remove, as they can use their expertise to focus on the areas that are most badly discoloured.