In the modern world, it is important to have supreme confidence in your appearance and your smile.
And if you are like the majority of dental patients, you may wish that your smile was whiter.
As one of the staples of all dental cosmetic procedures, teeth whitening from Harley Street is in no danger of slowing down, with more patients than ever before seeking an easy way to get their teeth on par with those who tread the red carpet.
But, with popularity comes myths and half-truths. If you have been considering having your smile whitened, you have probably come across at least a couple of the following myths that surround this procedure.
So, without further ado, here are the truths behind dental whitening.
It ruins the enamel
In the past, whitening may have involved drilling or physical sanding to remove some deeper-set stains, which would have damaged the enamel and heightened sensitivity.
Today, the majority of whitening procedures involve gels and these gels are made from hydrogen peroxide; this oxidises the surface of the teeth and removes the stain without the need for abrasion or enhanced sensitivity, so your enamel stays intact.
You get the same effect with over the counter pastes
DIY whitening kits have boomed in popularity but they cannot offer the same results as professional whitening.
Even the strongest over-the-counter gels contain 1% hydrogen peroxide, whereas the ones used in a dental surgery can be as high as 6%. To prevent this higher strength gel from causing issues with your gums, your dentist will fit a dam to stop it from coming into contact with the soft tissues of your mouth.
If you want to whiten your smile quickly and effectively, talk to your dentist.
People with crowns and fillings can’t have their teeth whitened
In recent years, there has been a rise in the use of composite fillings and crowns, to help patients who have needed restorative procedures to maintain their smiles.
But this has led to questions surrounding the compatibility with whitening gels and polishes. In short, if you have composite fillings or crowns, the surrounding tooth can still be whitened, but the filling cannot be, which can lead to an uneven appearance.
If you have concerns relating to whitening with composite fillings or crowns, talk to your dentist about cleaning the composite to match or, alternatively, discuss a more suitable procedure like dental veneers.
Whitening is permanent
While professional whitening can last up to 2 years, it is not permanent.
Smoking, drinking and consumption of sugar can all impact any whitening procedures longevity.
Whitening looks fake
Yes, if done to the extreme, teeth whitening can look extremely fake, as the teeth appear to lose all dimension and imperfections that make them yours.
However, depending on how white you want your teeth to look, your dentist will be able to achieve it by altering the concentrations in the gels, so you can have a smile that is 5 shades whiter, or 15.