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Teeth Whitening Myths Busted!

Looking to get a brighter smile but not sure if teeth whitening is for you? Cosmetic dentist Dr. Brian Cantor answers your questions and dispels some myths about whitening your teeth.

Are all teeth whiten the same?

All teeth whitening products are not the same. Because different teeth react differently to bleach. Some people get excellent results from bleach, while others do not. Different colors of teeth will react differently to bleach. For example, if your teeth are stained yellow, they will respond better to bleach than teeth with a grayish tone. So, if you have yellowish stained teeth, bleaching them should produce better results than grayish teeth.

Is teeth whitening a one and done?

Once you have whitened your teeth, you must work hard to keep them that way. It is possible to do so with over-the-counter products. It is possible to accomplish this with whitening toothpaste and with a whitening rinse. Alternatively, you can return to the office for a professional whitening treatment.

How long will that take to whiten teeth at home?

The hydrogen peroxide concentration in over-the-counter kits at a pharmacy or drug store is not high. And they don't stay isolated on your teeth as long as professional whiting in the office. As a result, it will take more time to achieve a satisfactory result. They do, however, work and are far more cost-effective.

If you have take-home trays, custom trays made by the dentist, you're using a high percentage of hydrogen peroxide. And that also remains isolated on your teeth for a long time, because they're custom-made to your teeth.

Do whitening kinds of toothpaste bleach the teeth?

No. There is a distinction to be made between whitening and bleaching. By removing surface stains, whitening actually makes your teeth appear whiter than they are. The toothpaste accomplishes this by containing hydrated silica, a small abrasive. And you use that to remove the stain on the teeth's surface. As a result, the teeth appear whiter than they actually are.

Can whitening at home have professional results?

You can get professional-level results by whitening at home. It is safe and cost-effective, although some sensitivity can occur with any whitening procedure. And unfortunately, they won't stay white forever, no matter which solution you choose. So be sure you are always using whitening products in your daily oral care routine. And, as always, talk to your dentist before you start any whitening treatment.

Can whitening toothpaste damage the enamel?

No, that cannot damage the enamel. What can damage the enamel is if you have bad brushing techniques. You have to be very careful, get to have good brushing technique. But there's no damage done in the whitening toothpaste.

Are there side effects from teeth whitening?

That’s false. There are no permanent side effects to teeth whitening. There's a lot of research, a lot of studies being done. There are no negative effects that bleaching has long-term on your teeth. However, with some short-term effects, you can get sensitivity, and you can get a little irritation to the gums. It only lasts a day or two. And it goes away, and you're totally fine.

Will insurance cover teeth whitening?

Cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance companies because they are deemed unnecessary. Bleaching or whitening teeth falls under the umbrella of cosmetic dentistry.

Final Thoughts

By now, you'll know that there are many options out there to help you keep your teeth white. You can choose to invest in a whitening kit, which will work well for teeth that are only moderately stained. If your teeth are more deeply stained, however, you might want to consider getting professional whitening services done at the dentist.

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