Facts vs Myths of Teeth Whitening

October 12, 2020

Facts vs Myths of Teeth Whitening

There’s a lot of information out there – here are some basics on safe teeth whitening!

Of all of our cosmetic services, teeth whitening just might be the one we get the most questions about! Many people are interested in a brighter smile, but with all the in-store and at-home options that are available, there are a lot of questions about what’s safe, what’s effective, and how it works. If you’re looking for teeth whitening in Winnipeg and are not quite sure where to start, here some of the common facts and myths around this cosmetic procedure.

What causes teeth staining and teeth discolouration?
There are various sources of teeth stains or reasons for discolouration. Some teeth are just naturally a less white shade, while others have become stained over time by habits like smoking, or drinking coffee, tea, or red wine.

Can teeth whitening damage your enamel?
The answer to this question depends on the method of whitening. 

Teeth whitening toothpastes need to be used with caution, as they remove stains using acid etching or tiny abrasive particles. While this might remove surface stains at first, over the long run they can actually wear away your tooth enamel, which does not regenerate. Along with making you more susceptible to tooth decay and other issues, the wearing away of your tooth enamel will actually make your teeth appear more yellow over the long-term, as the dentin underneath the enamel becomes visible. 

Should you get teeth whitening done if you have sensitive teeth?
Sensitive teeth or teeth that are chipped, eroded, or weakened by cavities should be repaired or protected before teeth whitening treatments are applied for the best, brightest results. Your dentist may recommend that you don’t go ahead with teeth whitening if you have very sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, or teeth with worn enamel.

Can you whiten veneers, crowns, and fillings?
If you’ve had restorations such as bridges, crowns, or veneers, or large composite resin fillings, it’s important to understand that these will not whiten consistently with natural teeth. If teeth whitening is something you are interested in and you are also considering a restoration, be sure to talk to your dentist sooner rather than later!

Can teeth whitening remove all discoloration?
There are several reasons teeth may be stained or discoloured. Some people’s teeth are just naturally a less white shade, while others have become stained over time by habits like smoking, or drinking coffee, tea, or red wine. While safe, dentist-supervised teeth whitening programs can see great results, it is important to talk to your dentist about your unique situation and what you can expect. Different types of staining respond better to certain treatments, so your dentist may recommend one teeth whitening method over another, based on your situation.

Are over-the-counter teeth whitening products just as good as professional whitening?
The safest way to get the best results is to involve your dentist in your teeth whitening decisions. Your dentist will recommend the best option for you, help you set realistic expectations, ensure that the procedure or product won’t have any negative effects on your teeth or restorations, and answer any other questions you have about teeth whitening

Can acidic food help whiten teeth?
Much like abrasive toothpastes, acidic food can damage your tooth enamel over time. As mentioned above, erosion of your tooth enamel can have the opposite cosmetic effect over time, along with other oral health issues. 

Is light a necessary and safe component of teeth whitening? Tooth whitening “lights” are used as a heat source and not necessarily a light source. It’s the heat from the light that causes the peroxides to work more effectively.

Can oil pulling remove stains just as good as teeth whitening products?
At this time, there is no scientific evidence to confirm that oil pulling can whiten your teeth.

Looking for teeth whitening in Winnipeg? We can help!
We offer two options for teeth whitening – an in-office treatment, and a supervised at-home treatment. As always, the best way to get the safest and best results for you is to book a consultation with one of our dentists! We’ll answer all of your questions, help you understand what to expect, and recommend the right path to your brightest smile. Book your consultation here.