The Truth About Teeth Whitening: Myths and Facts

We want to debunk some of these myths and provide accurate information about teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening has gained immense popularity in recent years, thanks to social media influencers and celebrities who flaunt their bright and radiant smiles.

However, with the growing popularity of teeth whitening comes a lot of misinformation and myths that can be misleading and even harmful. As a trusted dental office in St. Louis, we want to debunk some of these myths and provide you with accurate information about teeth whitening.

Myth # 1: Teeth Whitening is Painful

Fact: Teeth whitening is a painless procedure. You may experience some sensitivity during and after the treatment, but this is temporary and can be managed with desensitizing products provided by your dental professional.

Myth #2: Teeth Whitening Can Damage Your Enamel

Fact: Teeth whitening products do not damage enamel. They work by penetrating the enamel to break down stains and discoloration. However, excessive use of teeth whitening products or using too harsh products can lead to enamel erosion, which can cause sensitivity and other dental issues.

Myth #3: Teeth Whitening Is Purely Cosmetic

Fact: Teeth whitening can also have health benefits. It can remove teeth stains caused by smoking, poor oral hygiene, and certain foods and drinks. Removing these stains can prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Myth # 4: Teeth Whitening Works for Everyone

Fact: Teeth whitening may not be effective for everyone, especially for those with deep stains or discoloration caused by genetics, certain medications, or dental trauma. In such cases, alternative treatments like veneers or bonding may be recommended by your dentist.

Myth #5: Teeth Whitening Results Are Immediate and Long-Lasting

Fact: Teeth whitening results vary depending on the individual’s dental health, lifestyle, and the whitening method used. At-home kits can take several weeks to show results, while in-office treatments can produce noticeable results in one appointment. Results may also vary in longevity, and touch-up treatments may be required to maintain the desired level of whitening.

Myth #6: Natural Teeth Cannot Be Whitened

Fact: Natural teeth can be effectively whitened with the proper treatment.
However, teeth that have been restored with crowns, veneers, or fillings cannot be whitened with traditional methods. In such cases, replacement may be necessary to achieve the desired level of whiteness.

Myth # 7: Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Products Are Just as Effective as Professional Teeth Whitening

Fact: Over-the-counter teeth whitening products such as whitening strips, toothpaste, and rinses are less effective than professional teeth whitening. Professional teeth whitening is performed by a trained dentist and uses stronger whitening agents that can penetrate the enamel more effectively, providing better results.

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Updated: March 26, 2023

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