Have you started to notice your smile is yellowish and dingy? Perhaps you’ve been considering teeth whitening but are overwhelmed by the options available and questions you have. What are some of the common teeth whitening myths out there? Find out the truth and love your smile again!
Dear Tooth Truth,
The holidays are approaching and I know there will be pictures galore! I feel like my smile is looking dull and dingy and I would love to brighten my not-so-pearly whites. I’m worried it won’t work for me because I drink coffee and wine. Will it make my teeth sensitive? Will the results last? Help me Tooth Truth!
– Dreaming of a White Christmas
Your dream of a brighter whiter smile can become a reality. Let’s examine some teeth whitening myths so you can better understand tooth whitening.
Myth #1: Whitening will damage my enamel and make my teeth sensitive
Tooth Truth: Tooth whitening is one of the least invasive ways you can enhance your smile. Whitening products lift stains out of the outer layers of the tooth structure and do so without harsh abrasives. Because these products penetrate the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) to get to the stain, there is a possibility you will have some sensitivity immediately after whitening. A dental professional can help you avoid sensitivity by choosing a whitening method that best suits your needs. In fact, Dr. Danielle Powell can tell you more here:
Having trouble watching the video? Click here to watch on YouTube.
Myth #2: I shouldn’t whiten my teeth if I drink things that stain my teeth (coffee/tea/wine)
Tooth Truth: Stained teeth tend to have the best before-and-after results. Keep in mind that staining habits don’t keep you from having an excellent result, but you will require more whitening maintenance than someone who avoids stain-inducing foods and drinks. You may find that you need more touch-up whitening.
We recommend touch-up whitening after your semi-annual check-up cleanings. This helps ensure you don’t have any underlying dental problems (like cavities) that could make your teeth more sensitive to whitening. In addition, whitening when your tooth surface is free of plaque and tartar build-up can help you get a more even result.
Myth #3: Whitening my teeth will give me a Hollywood smile
Tooth Truth: This is certainly what all the advertising seems to promise but unfortunately, it’s not always true. Almost all patients will have results from their whitening, but some will be more dramatic than others. Our teeth all have a different biological potential when it comes to whitening.
Think about it like getting some sun. If a group of friends heads out to the beach together, a few might get a sunburn, some will get a nice tan, and some will get cocoa brown. Same stimulus (s – the sun) – with very different results. Bleaching can be like that. Some people have teeth that respond favorably and quickly while others find their teeth to be stubborn to all efforts.
Keep in mind that whitening impacts the outer layers of the tooth. If you have teeth with deep “internal” discoloration from medications like tetracycline or a grayish tooth color from a history of trauma to a tooth, then you may need bonding or veneers to transform your smile.
Myth #4: Whitening is just too expensive for me
Tooth Truth: It doesn’t have to be! At Lee Dental Centers we have 3 tiers of options, so we can offer something that works for all our patients. Countless hours and dollars can be wasted when you try out all the latest over-the-counter options and still don’t get the results you desire. When you discuss your ideal smile with a dental professional at Lee Dental Centers, he or she then can personalize a smile transformation that takes into consideration your desires, and as importantly, your budget and timeframe.
Dispel Teeth Whitening Myths and Enjoy a Whiter Smile
Have any of these teeth whitening myths held you back from trying tooth bleaching? If so, we hope this article has convinced you of the truth of teeth whitening. Stop hiding your smile in photos this holiday season and enjoy the self-confidence to smile brightly!
Our San Antonio dentists can determine which whitening option is best for you and ensure you experience the best results possible. We look forward to helping you on your way to a whiter smile!