Top 10 Teeth Whitening Myths – Busted!

January often means New Year resolutions, and we know many of you have vowed to finally get your teeth whitened. But friends and family might be sowing the seeds of doubt, repeating popular myths that hold you back. So we thought we’d set the record straight on ten of the most common misconceptions we hear:

Myth #1: Whitening toothpaste will do the trick

Fact: Some over-the-counter whitening toothpastes are able to remove surface stains from your teeth, so you may see a slight improvement in their appearance. However, it can’t change the underlying colour of the tooth – only professional-grade whitening can do that.

Myth #2: You can’t have teeth whitening if you suffer from sensitive teeth

Fact: Almost everyone can have tooth whitening. However we would recommend a slower and gentler method, such as custom-made bleaching trays that are worn at home for a couple of weeks, if you’re prone to sensitivity.

Myth #3: Tooth whitening harms the enamel

Fact: When properly performed by a professional, teeth whitening is 100% safe for your enamel and gums. We unfortunately can’t say the same for whitening done by anyone not dentally-qualified!

Myth #4: Tooth whitening lasers are dangerous

Fact: What are commonly called ‘lasers’ are actually just special lights that activate the whitening gel. As an added precaution, we carefully cover your gums so only your teeth are exposed, meaning there’s no risk to your mouth or to you.

Myth #5: You can’t drink tea, coffee or red wine after having whitening done

Fact: Although strong coloured food and drinks should not be consumed during whitening and directly after having whitening, as the gel does make the enamel porous for a short period, the longer term care required to keep your teeth from being stained is the same as for everyone, whether they’ve had whitening done or not. After the initial period of sensitivity to staining has passed, your teeth won’t be any more prone to staining than before, but you might be more likely to protect them! Staying away from staining food and drinks will help your (and everyone’s) teeth stay whiter longer.

Myth #6: You’ll end up with glow-in-the-dark teeth like Joey Essex

Fact: Most celebrities you’ve seen with unnaturally white teeth have had their teeth computer enhanced to look that white. Whitening will only bring your teeth to their whitest natural shade.

Myth #7: Whitening is permanent

Fact: Whitening resets the clock on your teeth’s aesthetics, but the natural aging process will start again after treatment and your teeth will gradually darken and yellow. They’ll always look better than they would have without whitening, but top-up treatments are available if needed.

Myth #8: You can whiten restorations (crowns, veneers, fillings and bridges)

Fact: Ceramic/porcelain restorations cannot be whitened, so we advise having whitening done before any restorations in order to ensure a good colour match. 

Myth #9: Home remedies like baking soda will whiten your teeth safely

Fact: You might have some limited results with this, but baking soda destroys the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your mouth. That’s not a good thing.

Myth #10: You can have professional whitening done at the beautician’s

Fact: No! Long gone are the days when you’d go to the barber for dentistry. In the UK it is illegal for anyone who is not a qualified dental professional to offer or perform teeth whitening – and with good reason. Some people who’ve gone to ‘non-dental premises’ have suffered severe damage to their teeth and throats. Never let anyone who’s not a qualified and currently registered dental professional touch your teeth!

For more information about the teeth whitening options we offer, or to book an appointment, call us on 01482 565 488.