Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dental treatments available today. Yet many misconceptions about the treatment have somehow taken root in the public consciousness. Thankfully, its increased accessibility has made it easier to dispel these baseless rumours and myths. Let’s look at three of the most frequent teeth whitening myths below.
Teeth Whitening Myth 1: It is a Painful Procedure
One prevalent myth holds that the teeth whitening treatment involves a painful process. While it may be true that a minority of patients experience teeth sensitivity issues, mostly due to pre-existing dental conditions, painful teeth whitening sessions are rare. Having your teeth professional whitened by a dental professional will minimise the risk of the patient experiencing discomfort from the whitening agent affecting the gums and lips. As it is applied in a controlled and measured manner by a dental professional who monitors the patient throughout the in-chair whitening process. When it does occur, it usually has to do with an over-the-counter whitening product. The problem with over the counter DIY whitening kits is that the self-administering patients may not be suitable candidates for that particular product to begin with. Those who choose the DIY route miss out on the dentist’s pre-treatment assessment that may pick out underlying dental conditions that require attention before undergoing the whitening treatment. Apart from these rare cases, it is safe to assume that teeth whitening treatments are safe and minimally invasive for most patients.
Teeth Whitening Myth 2: Harmful to Teeth Enamel
Some people have wrongly claimed that teeth whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide can destroy or erode the enamel of our teeth. The whitening solutions have been unfairly compared to household bleaching agents. The difference is teeth whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide are not acidic. In fact, the chemical process used in teeth whitening procedures converts the balanced pH formulated solutions into safe and harmless water and oxygen compounds. These compounds are all tested to be safe for use on your teeth even as they effectively remove the hardened particles that cause staining and discolouration. The whitening treatment, especially when administered by a dentist, is considered a very safe and harmless procedure, not least to your teeth.
Teeth Whitening Myth 3: All Whitening Gels Produce the Same Results
This one is easily dispelled: simply by looking at the active ingredients in the two main professional gel options, namely Hydrogen Peroxide and Carbamide Peroxide. The latter ingredient acts more slowly on the teeth than the former. That is also why Carbamide Peroxide concentrations are generally recommended for use with an Accelerator Light (UV or Blue LED), which intensifies the whitening process. The Hydrogen Peroxide active ingredient is approximately three times more concentrated than Carbamide Peroxide, hence reacts much faster in contact with the teeth. A dentist is clinically trained to apply high concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide gels in carefully controlled amounts and is able to achieve optimal whitening results while ensuring a safe treatment for the patient.