Over time, human teeth can become stained for many reasons including the food or drink we consume. Many people can feel very self-conscious about their discoloured teeth and choose to undergo a process known as teeth whitening or teeth bleaching to lighten the colour of their teeth.
Teeth whitening can be done in a dental clinic or with at-home products such as creams, gels, and strips made from hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The peroxide is left on the teeth for a while, resulting in the teeth regaining a whiter appearance over time.
However there are many myths abound about teeth whitening products – some of which are true, and some which aren’t. Here’s what you need to know:
While crowns, veneers, fillings, or bridges may look exactly like teeth, they do not behave like teeth. Teeth whitening products do not have an effect on any of these, as only natural tooth enamel will respond to the whitening effects.
Another common myth is that teeth whitening products work by damaging tooth enamel. However, this is not true. These products do open the pores on the outset surface of the enamel allowing whitening agents to penetrate and bleach the inner stains. However when performed by a qualified dentist there is no damage dealt to your teeth.
This prevalent myth suggests that acidic fruits, such as strawberries or lemons, can have a whitening effect on your teeth. However contrary to this belief such fruits or foods will actually damage the enamel of your teeth, not whiten them. Acids in fruits and other foods attack the enamel and cause yellowing and other problems such as premature wear.
Activated charcoal has been widely touted as a teeth whitening product with many cosmetic companies selling it as an alternative to proper teeth bleaching kits. However there is no conclusive research on its whitening properties; further itis a highly abrasive product and rubbing it on yoru teeth will damage the surface of the enamel.
This myth is actually mostly true, with some exceptions. Most people with healthy unrestored teeth can use teeth whitening products – however if you have crowns, fillings, veneers, or bridges, you might be left with uneven colour in your mouth as these do not respond to the bleaching process. Pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding should also not undergo teeth whitening.
There is also some true to this myth. Teeth whitening is a delicate process and can leave teeth sensitive for a short period of time after the procedure. The increased sensitivity usually goes away after a couple of days, and should not be permanent. For people who already have sensitive teeth, this may also result in greater discomfort.
Teeth whitening is a safe process that is best done at a clinics or with at-home products such as teeth whitening kits and strips.
FDC offers chairside teeth whitening services safely performed by our experienced dentists, ensuring you can get whiter teeth without any worries. We also have at-home teeth whitening kits for sale at our 18 dental clinics across Singapore. Get in touch or make an appointment to find out more.