By: Dr. Christopher Lim
Posted on: July 30, 2019

You probably agree that a white smile looks clean, youthful, and adds to the attractiveness of your face. Yet many misconceptions surround the process of teeth whitening. Dr. Christopher Lim of Hillside Dental dispels these myths for a better understanding of bright smiles.

Myth #1 – Whitening damages enamel on your teeth.
Healthy tooth enamel looks impervious, but it actually has natural porosity. Microscopic tubules are like tiny tunnels that allow oxygen to reach the dentin layer under the enamel. Pigment from foods, beverages, smoking, and other environmental factors settle in this crystalline structure. Most whitening products contain varying strengths of carbamide peroxide. It acts as an oxidizing agent, penetrating the tubules and loosening stains.

Utilized properly under the care of a dentist, professional teeth whitening is very safe for tooth enamel. It simply restores it to a more youthful state. Toothpastes that are advertised as “whitening,” however, are abrasive and present a much greater risk to tooth enamel.

Myth #2 – Whitening is painful.
The procedure itself is non-invasive and comfortable. Some patients do experience temporary sensitivity from whitening, though, additionally, irritation can develop using methods that allow the bleaching agent to coat soft tissues in the mouth. We use professional whitening techniques and applicator trays custom fitted to your mouth, to keep the whitener where it belongs – on your teeth. Our formulations also include desensitizers for a very low risk of discomfort.

Myth #3 – Whitening harms nerves in teeth.
Some whitening methods use a special light to activate the chemicals and hasten results. While potential harm to nerves has never been proven, some patients are not at ease with this method. We offer effective whitening options that do not require light activation.

Myth #4 – Whitened smiles look artificial.
In inexperienced hands, without the oversight of a dentist, immediate whitening can deliver dramatic results – in part by temporarily dehydrating enamel. This is harmless, but some color rebound will occur within a week or so. Our take home trays work gently to whiten teeth in about two weeks, with regular use. You maintain your gorgeous smile indefinitely by wearing the trays periodically. Your teeth do get whiter, but the change is beautiful, natural, and gradual.

Myth #5 – All teeth whitening products are the same.
This is the biggest teeth whitening falsehood of all. Home remedies include fruit acids that are potentially harmful to enamel. Drug and discount stores are full of chewing gums, mouth rinses, toothpastes, strips, and brush-on products classified as “whitening.” They contain abrasives and lower strength peroxide that isn’t effective. Even professional whitening methods differ in safety, comfort, and effectiveness. With experience and research, we’ve established the best products and techniques for our patients.

Call Hillside Dental today at (702) 666-8584 to get started on your bright smile.

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