Don’t Fall for These Teeth Whitening Myths & Misconceptions, Experts Reveal the Real Deal

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Teeth naturally darken as we age. The buildup of surface stains, particularly from tobacco use and specific foods or beverages, can also influence their appearance. While teeth aren’t perfectly white, numerous Canadians desire a brighter smile. 

This desire has led many people to seek a Maple Ridge teeth whitening service, which eliminates tooth stains and discolourations. However, there are many misconceptions about teeth whitening. 

So, what should you know about dental care? How can you distinguish myth from reality? Today, we’ll share insights from dental experts in Maple Ridge. 

7 Teeth Whitening Myths vs. the Truth

Myth 1: All Teeth Whitening Treatments Are the Same.

Contrary to popular belief, not all teeth whitening treatments are created equal. The effectiveness of a whitening treatment may vary depending on the method used and an individual’s dental health. 

Professional treatments, such as those offered by dental clinics, normally use higher concentrations of whitening agents. They offer more dramatic results in less time than over-the-counter options.

Myth 2: Teeth Whitening Damages Enamel.

One of the biggest concerns surrounding teeth whitening is the potential damage to the enamel. However, studies and expert opinions suggest teeth whitening is safe when performed correctly and does not harm the tooth enamel. 

In fact, abrasive teeth whitening products are considered safe, according to Dr. Laura Tam, the dean of dentistry at the University of Toronto. 

The key is to follow the product instructions carefully or opt for professional treatments experienced dentists conduct.

Myth 3: Whitening Works on All Types of Teeth.

Not all teeth respond to whitening treatments in the same way.  Only a dental professional can assess the suitability of teeth whitening for your specific situation. 

The probability of your teeth responding to teeth whitening procedures involves different factors such as:

  • The natural colour of your teeth
  • Your previous dental work (e.g., crowns, veneers)
  • Presence of stains (intrinsic or. extrinsic)

Myth 4: Teeth Whitening is Not an Option for Those with Sensitive Teeth.

The truth is quite encouraging for individuals with sensitive teeth. Through careful planning, achieving a brighter smile is still possible. 

Dentists can utilize gels that reduce sensitivity and design a customized whitening process to decrease any potential discomfort. 

By sharing your concerns about sensitivity with your dentist, they can develop a whitening strategy that suits your needs while ensuring the health of your oral cavity remains intact.

Myth 5: Instant Hollywood-white Smile from Whitening

It’s appealing to think teeth whitening can deliver an immediate, dazzling white smile akin to Hollywood stars, but such expectations can disappoint you at some point. 

Achieving a whiter smile is a process, and the outcomes vary based on your starting tooth colour and the whitening method applied. 

For noticeable effects, professional whitening should be used for one to two weeks, whereas over-the-counter (OTC) products often require longer use. 

Myth 6: DIY Whitening Always Costs Less Than Professional Services

Although the upfront lower price tag of over-the-counter (OTC) whitening kits might seem economical, unexpected expenses can arise.

If these DIY treatments fail to deliver results, the initial cost-saving advantage diminishes. It can also lead to dental issues needing professional correction, which can add to costs. 

Professional teeth whitening might appear more expensive initially. Still, it ensures reliable outcomes, reduces risks of damage, and includes expert advice from a dentist. In short, it offers more value in the long run.

Myth 7: Home Teeth Whitening Doesn’t Require a Dentist’s Approval

Maintaining oral health should be a top priority, and it requires a dentist’s advice before starting any teeth whitening regimen at home. To reach your desired smile safely, a dental professional will:

  • Evaluate your oral health condition
  • Decide if whitening treatments are appropriate for you
  • Suggest the safest and most effective approach
  • Offer customized advice 

Types of Teeth Stains

Choosing the right teeth whitening method depends on the stain type on your teeth. If you have both intrinsic and extrinsic stains, you’ll need a method that effectively targets each type. 

Here are the two stain types:

Intrinsic StainsIntrinsic stains are located inside the tooth enamel. A research shows that they can be caused by antibiotics, high fluoride levels, enamel thinning due to aging, or genetics.
Extrinsic StainsExtrinsic stains appear on the tooth surface from external factors like coffee, food colourings, and smoking. Antibiotic use can also influence extrinsic stains.

Types of Teeth Whitening Treatments

You must understand the different teeth whitening options to choose the right method. Here are the primary types of teeth whitening procedures:

In-Office Whitening (or Bleaching)

This professional treatment is performed in a dental office, where the dentist applies a high-concentration peroxide gel to the teeth. It offers quick and significant results, often in a single visit.

At-Home Whitening Kits from the Dentist

These kits contain fewer whitening agents than in-office treatments but are more effective than over-the-counter products. They usually include custom-fitted trays for your teeth.

Over-the-Counter Whitening Products

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products contain the lowest concentration of whitening agents. They are less expensive but less effective and take longer to achieve noticeable results. Some of the OTC teeth products include:

  • Charcoal toothpaste (for surface stains)
  • Peroxide-based whitening gels
  • Teeth-whitening mouthwash
  • Teeth-whitening toothpaste
  • Teeth-whitening strips

Before deciding on a teeth whitening method, you should visit a dental professional who can recommend the most suitable option based on your dental health and whitening goals.

Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening Services vs OTC Whitening

AdvantageProfessional WhiteningOver-the-Counter Whitening
Targeting Deep StainsUses stronger treatments capable of removing deep and stubborn stains like those from fluorosis or tetracycline.Mostly effective on surface stains; less potent.
Ensuring Even WhiteningCustom trays and personalized treatment plans ensure uniform whitening across all teeth.Standardized kits may lead to uneven results.
Promoting Oral HealthA dental health assessment and protective measures to minimize sensitivity and gum irritation are included.Lack of professional oversight can increase the risk of sensitivity and irritation.
Delivering Faster ResultsAchieves desired whitening results in fewer sessions, thanks to more efficient methods.It can be a slower process with less predictable outcomes.
Offering Expert GuidanceDentists can advise on the best action and alternatives for certain discolouration types.No personalized guidance can lead to ineffective treatment choices.

Deciding on Professional Teeth Whitening

According to Joseph Michael Brofsky, head of pediatric dentistry at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, you may consider professional teeth whitening if you want a significant colour change and haven’t had success with over-the-counter options. Those wanting to lighten their teeth by several shades may find professional services more effective.

Pre-Whitening Dental Consultation Essentials

Before whitening, a dental check-up and cleaning are necessary. Whitening products cannot bypass plaque; whitening teeth with cavities or exposed roots can cause discomfort. Discuss with your dentist about:

  • Fluoride-related discolouration.
  • Effects on previous dental work like crowns or bonding.
  • Discolouration from trauma or tetracycline antibiotics during tooth formation. 

teeth whitening


A Brighter Smile with Westgate Dental Centre

Teeth whitening offers various options, ranging from at-home kits to in-house treatments. The method for whitening depends on the type of stain your teeth have.

If you’re considering getting a Maple Ridge teeth whitening service, consult a reliable dental clinic like Westgate Dental Centre to provide expert advice and customized whitening treatment plans for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Professional teeth whitening results can last six months to three years, depending on lifestyle choices such as smoking and consuming staining foods and drinks. Following a dentist’s aftercare advice can help extend the results.

During an in-office whitening session, the dentist will take several steps:

  • Assess the current shade of your teeth using a tooth shade chart and discuss the expected level of whitening
  • Polish your teeth with a pumice tool to remove plaque
  • Barriers are placed along the gum line to protect your mouth’s soft tissues and prevent contact with the whitening agent.
  • The whitening agent is applied and left on for about an hour, possibly with light activation.
  • If needed, additional coats of the whitening agent may be applied.
  • After whitening, your mouth is rinsed, and fluoride may be applied to reduce sensitivity.

Teeth get their white colour from the thickness of the enamel and dentin layers. Thicker enamel with lighter dentin leads to whiter teeth, while thinner enamel and denser dentin result in a darker shade of white.

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