Teeth Whitening—Top 10 Myths
With all the information in ads, magazines and on the Internet about teeth whitening, but it is important to separate fact from fiction. The Top 10 Myths about Teeth Whitening include: All teeth whiten the same; Once my teeth are whitened, they will stay bright forever; Whitening toothpastes bleach teeth; Dental insurance will pay for tooth whitening.
Teeth whitening is a common cosmetic dentistry procedure used to lighten or whiten the shade of the teeth. Every year thousands if not millions of people combine to spend over $10 billion on cosmetic teeth whitening procedures.
1. Dental insurance will pay for teeth whitening—Unfortunately, teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by most dental insurance plans.
2. Whitening toothpastes bleach teeth—Very few if any whitening toothpastes actually can chemically whiten your teeth. In fact, most if not all of the whitening toothpastes contain only mechanical abrasive products that help you scrub off surface stains when brushing.
3. Once my teeth are whitened, they will stay white forever—After you get your teeth whitened, you will have to continually maintain your whitening results by periodically using whitening treatments at home. Otherwise, your teeth will slowly darken over time. Avoiding intensely colored beverages such as coffee, tea, wine, or orange juice can prolong the whitening results.
4. All teeth whitening gels are the same—There is a wide range in strength of teeth whitening products and gels. The strongest whitening gels are used by the dentist for in-office whitening procedures. The next strongest whitening gels are given to you by your dentist to be used at home. The weakest gels are bought over-the-counter.
5. Veneers, crowns, and tooth colored fillings will be whitened just like my teeth—If you have veneers, crowns or tooth-colored fillings and whiten your teeth, you may be disappointed after whitening that your veneers, crowns, or fillings no longer match the color of your teeth. This is because the whitening gel does not affect the shade of your restorations. If you need veneers, crowns, or fillings, ask your dentist if you can wait until after teeth whitening to do them. Otherwise you may need to get them redone after your teeth are whitened.
6. I have to get the strongest gel so that my teeth can get whitest—Although the strongest gels used by the dentist in the dental office would whiten your teeth fastest, you may be able to achieve similar whitening results if you just use a medium-strength whitening gel given by your dentist to be used at home for a longer time.
7. All teeth whiten the same—In fact, all teeth do not whiten the same. Yellow teeth typically whiten better than gray teeth. A person with yellow teeth would typically see more dramatic whitening results compared to a person with gray teeth.
8. Tooth whitening is without side effects—Whitening your teeth may cause tooth sensitivity or gum irritation. That is why before you whitening your teeth, you should see your dentist to check for cavities, exposed roots, or gum disease to minimize problems after bleaching.
9. Whitening kits given by the dentist are the same as the ones purchased over the counter—In order to have maximum effect on your teeth, the whitening gel must equally cover your teeth. Because everybody has different sizes and shapes of teeth, it may be difficult for the gel placed in a generic stock tray to equally cover your teeth, especially if your teeth are crooked. The whitening kits given by the dentist have a custom-made tray to hold the whitening gel evenly on all your teeth. In addition, the whitening gel given by the dentist is stronger.10. It may take weeks to see results—Though many over-the-counter products with milder whitening agents may take weeks to work, you can sometimes see dramatic results in less than an hour from whitening procedures done by your dentist in the dental office. Sometimes, people can experience eight or more shades brighter in less than an hour.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Stephen Yang is a Board Certified Orthodontist and Senior Editor at Bracesquestions.com, a website about Clear Braces, Invisalign Cost, and Teeth Whitening. Discover how to whiten teeth with various teeth whitening products and whitening gel at Bracesquestions.com.
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