Having white teeth is a sign of health and vitality. White teeth also make a person appear more attractive since the clean white look helps to draw attention to a pretty smile. But all this presupposes that the underlying teeth and gums are actually healthy. The problem with modern teeth whitening is that it can actually give a false impression of oral health where there really isn’t any. Teeth that have been chemically whitened aren’t necessarily in great condition. Here are the top three teeth whitening myths debunked.
Myth # 1 : Whiter Teeth Means They Are Healthy Teeth
There’s a myth that whiter teeth equal healthy teeth. But that simply isn’t true. Just because you bleach out a tooth so it’s gleaming white doesn’t mean that there are no issues with that tooth. Children often have whiter teeth because they haven’t been exposed to the things that cause teeth discoloration like alcohol and tobacco products. Children with white teeth may have healthier teeth, but even they may have underlying problems with their teeth. In other words, having white teeth, whether it’s a child or an adult, does not mean that the teeth are necessarily healthy.
The converse is also true. Stained, yellow teeth may be perfectly healthy. They may have a thick layer of enamel and no cavities. The gums may be in pristine condition. The teeth are simply stained due to being exposed to foods or beverages that stain teeth. The yellowing could be a simple cosmetic issue that makes the teeth appear as if they are bad teeth. In fact, not everyone has white teeth, to begin with. The natural hue of the teeth varies from person to person. It depends on genetics as well as the individual makeup of the person’s body. In fact, having whiter teeth may give the person themselves a false sense of security as far as their overall oral health. They may think that if they look in the mirror and see white teeth that they can skip going to the dentist. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Myth # 2: Cosmetic Teeth Whitening Focuses On Appearance And Not So Much On Healthy Teeth
When you go to the dentist to get teeth whitening treatments, you probably assume that, like you, the dentist is focused solely on transforming your teeth into pearly whites. And why wouldn’t you think that? You made an appointment to have your teeth whitened, that’s what the dentist does, and that’s the charge that appears on your bill. However, a quality dentist is never solely focused on the cosmetic appearance of your teeth. Every time you sit in your dentist’s chair, they take the opportunity to evaluate the health of your teeth. In fact, if the dentist detects some unusual situations, they may not want to give you the teeth whitening treatment.
Teeth whitening formulations can actually be harmful to your teeth if they are in bad condition. If you have cracks, crevices or cavities, the chemicals in the teeth whitening formulas may cause undue discomfort or worse. That’s why your teeth whitening appointment isn’t really all about making your teeth whiter. Surprisingly, making an appointment for professional teeth whitening at your dentist office is one of the best things you can do to get an extra dental examination that could uncover potential problems like tooth decay, cavities, gum disease and more. If your dentist does discover a problem, you may still be able to get your teeth whitened, but you may get a recommendation to make another appointment to have the other situation taken care of as soon as possible.
Myth # 3: The Only Way To Achieve A Whiter Smile Is To Use Whitening Kits
Ever since teeth whitening became so popular, dozens of over the counter teeth whitening kits have hit drugstores and supermarkets. There are even television commercials that try to shame people for having less than perfectly white teeth. These advertisements encourage people to go to the drugstore to get a whitening kit. The marketing gimmick is that whiter teeth are just a whitening kit away. In reality, there are much better and safer ways to get whiter teeth.
The best way to get whiter teeth fast is to make an appointment with your dentist for a professional teeth whitening treatment. This will also give your dentist the chance to examine your overall oral health. But there are also ways to keep your teeth looking whiter without even having to go to get professional teeth whitening at the dentist’s office. First, maintaining the practice of brushing, flossing and rinsing after each meal for at least 2-4 minutes will help keep your teeth from staining from food and drink. Second, abstain from eating and drinking certain foods and beverages that are known to stain teeth. These include red wine, blueberries and more. Of course, no one wants to omit healthy blueberries from the diet. But if you do eat berries, be sure to brush and rinse immediately after.
If you are a smoker, you probably have noticed that the nicotine has stained your teeth yellow. If you get your teeth whitened at the dentist and want to keep them looking that way, the smoking will have to stop. There’s no preventing nicotine from staining your teeth without complete abstinence. Another thing you can do to help keep your teeth white is to brush with fresh crushed strawberries every so often. The acidic nature of the strawberries helps get rid of any existing stains. Finally, regular dentist visits help to keep your teeth white because the hygienist cleans away tartar and plaque buildup on your teeth.
Now that you see how there is little truth to these three teeth whitening myths, you can understand how important regular dental checkups are. Having healthy teeth means much more than a white bright smile. To keep your teeth and gums truly healthy, there’s no substitute for regular dental visits. To learn more about teeth whitening options or to schedule a visit, please contact us today.