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Whitening Myths Busted

Updated: Feb 4, 2019



Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure - after all, who doesn't want a whiter and brighter smile? While professional teeth whitening is safe and reliable, there is an overwhelming number of whitening myths popping out on the internet every day.


Our advice? Stick with the science and trust the professional assessment done by your Metro dentist.


Take a look at some common misconceptions about teeth whitening and learn the truth about it!


1 - Rubbing acidic fruit on your teeth can help to remove stains.


Strawberries, lemons other acidic fruits - we have heard of people believing that rubbing fruit on their teeth will get them a bright smile. Doing so, however, does not remove stains at all.


In fact, having naturally acidic ingredients come into contact with your teeth in such an abrasive manner can only cause severe damage by wearing away the enamel.


2 - Oil Pulling


Some people believe that using an oil like coconut oil like a mouth wash (oil pulling) can whiten your teeth.


The truth is: While oils are great to cook with, there is no science-based evidence that oil pulling is effective.


3 - Crowns and veneers can be whitened


The truth: The whitening gels we use to whiten teeth only work on natural teeth and do not affect porcelain surfaces, so you need to replace your crowns if you want them to match your other teeth.


4 - Turmeric and Baking Soda Teeth Whitening Myths


Using baking soda to whiten your teeth not only doesn’t work but also will disrupt the ratio of good to harmful bacteria in your mouth. Similar to baking soda, you can get minimal whitening due to the abrasive properties of Turmeric. The erosion helps to remove surface stains on your teeth but also risks damaging the enamel and causing staining itself.


5 - You can use only whitening toothpaste and whitening gum


While these “whitening” toothpaste and chewing gums may have whitening chemicals in them, they are far too weak to have an effect. Whitening chemicals need to be in contact with the teeth for a minimum of 20 minutes to effect a colour change.


6 - Once whitened, teeth will stay white forever


While the colour change may be permanent, as you age, your teeth will continue to age as well, which means they continue to yellow. Also, the effects of good living will continue to show on your teeth - this includes drinking red wine, tea or coffee, and smoking, which can all cause staining. Touch-ups are needed to maintain the whitening.


7 - Whitening can be done at all ages


Children should not be subjected to teeth whitening procedures. The same applies to pregnant and breastfeeding women. As for people with extremely stained teeth, other methods must be done to determine the cause and correct the discolouration. Teeth should be assessed for their condition before whitening treatment to determine whether are procedures such as fillings need to be carried out or replaced before the whitening procedure.


8 - Teeth whitening will damage your enamel


Plenty of studies have proven that teeth whitening does not damage the enamel. However, this is only in the hands of a dental professional. Teeth whitening is a form of dentistry and should only be performed by a dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist.


9 - Active charcoal is the secret to whiter teeth


While it might be tempting to try every new teeth whitening technique you see on Instagram, it's best to stick with science. Unfortunately, there is no substantial evidence that charcoal is an effective way to whiten teeth. A dentist’s concern would be the abrasive effect on the tooth tissue leading to sensitivity and irreversible damage.



10 - Teeth whitening causes extreme sensitivity


On the whole, teeth whitening shouldn't hurt, so if it's stinging, burning or irritating your mouth in any other way, you should stop that particular treatment immediately. However, a little bit of sensitivity isn't uncommon.


11 - Homemade Whitening Gels


It is never advisable to use bleaching materials which have not been explicitly designed for tooth whitening. It is always best to stick with professional products as they will have been scientifically and safely trialled. It is important to remember that even professionally-created gels, medications, and whitening treatments have varying levels of whitening ingredients and will achieve different results.



Read more: Learn about the Truth about Whitening



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