In the United States, 18% of people report concealing their teeth in pictures, and 32% report being concerned about how their teeth look.
Are you part of this group? Are you looking for a simple solution to these problems?
When it comes to whitening teeth, you’ve probably heard a lot of different pieces of information from a lot of different people. But how do you tell which advice is actually trustworthy and which advice is just fake news?
We’ve been there, and we know how hard it is to know who to believe.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the six most common myths about whitening teeth. Let’s get started — you can thank us later!
1. Baking Soda Is Good for Whitening Teeth
Put down the baking soda and back away!
The idea that this common kitchen product will whiten your teeth is just an old wives’ tale. Baking soda can help remove or minimize the appearance of stains, but it won’t actually whiten your teeth.
Not only will brushing your teeth with baking soda not make them whiter, but it also causes damage to your teeth.
Baking soda is very abrasive. That’s why it’s somewhat good for removing stains. But, it’s easy to go too hard when brushing with it and erode your enamel and gum line.
A lot of people have issues with this already, just from brushing too vigorously. Why add baking soda into the mix and make things worse?
Another reason some people tout baking soda as a great dental care tool is the fact that it can neutralize bacteria in the mouth and improve your breath. But, baking soda can’t differentiate between “good” and “bad” bacteria. This means that, in addition to getting rid of bad bacteria, baking soda can sometimes go too far and neutralize the good bacteria that keep us healthy.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide Is Safe for Your Mouth
Another common suggestion for whitening teeth involves rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide. Lots of people praise hydrogen peroxide for its antiseptic and healing properties, and it can technically help bleach your teeth. But, there are some serious risks that come with putting this stuff in your mouth.
First, recent studies, including one published by the American Association of Endodontists, have shown that hydrogen peroxide is toxic to the dental pulp, the cells in the inner part of your teeth.
Hydrogen peroxide bleaches teeth by releasing powerful free radicals known as superoxide anions. These free radicals can penetrate the enamel and dentin and cause damage to the dental pulp. The dental pulp is where the blood vessels and nerves of each tooth are located.
When your dental pulp is damaged, you can experience a number of symptoms, including:
- Pain in your teeth when you eat things that are sweet, hot, or cold
- Sudden, intense pain
- Infection in the gums and connective tissue
- Dental abscesses
- Dental nerve damage
3. Rubbing Fruit on Your Teeth is a Good Idea
Over the years, plenty of people have also suggested that rubbing fruit like strawberries, lemons, and even banana peels on your teeth can help whiten them. While some people have noticed a slight reduction in stains with this method, but that reduction comes at a pretty significant cost.
Strawberries and lemons, in particular, are very acidic, and they can easily wear down your enamel. They can also discolor your teeth and leave them looking more yellow. So, not only are these fruits not effective for whitening teeth, but they can actually make your discoloration worse.
In fact, you should get in the habit of brushing your teeth about 20 minutes after eating acidic foods at all. The 20-minute window is important because acid softens your enamel. Brushing too soon after eating acidic foods will speed up this process before the enamel has time to settle.
4. Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwashes Are Super Effective
When it comes to whitening teeth, there are dozens of toothpaste and mouthwash options available on drugstore shelves. Are any of them the real deal, though?
Professionals say no.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with using these products if you’re just looking to keep your mouth clean and healthy. But, don’t expect them to give you the dramatic results that are advertised on the package.
First of all, whitening toothpaste, like some of the other “remedies” we’ve discussed, only makes teeth appear whiter by removing stains.
According to the Mayo Clinic, whitening toothpaste doesn’t change the natural color of your teeth. It also can’t lighten a stain that goes deeper than a tooth’s surface.
Some types of whitening toothpaste also contain a chemical called blue covarine. Blue covarine sticks to the surface of the teeth. Once it’s there, it creates an optical illusion that simply makes teeth appear less yellow.
Experts have also found that the ability of these products to remove stains is somewhat questionable. Stains can’t be broken in the two minutes you spend brushing your teeth. Products need to make contact with the teeth for several minutes, so it takes a long time for people to notice any kind of difference when relying on whitening toothpaste or mouthwash alone.
5. Crowns and Fillings Whiten Just Like Regular Teeth
Before you start the process of whitening teeth, you need to think about your current dental situation. Do you have lots of crowns and fillings? Are they located on teeth that are visible when you smile?
If this is the case, you need to be careful when you start whitening your teeth. Crowns and fillings don’t change color with the rest of your teeth. So, as your teeth get whiter, your visible crowns and fillings will look out of place in your mouth.
If you’re interested in long-term whitening, you might want to look into have crowns or fillings replaced with lighter materials that match your new grin.
6. Teeth Whitening Lasts Forever
Some people think that whitening teeth once means they’ll be white forever. Not so!
Even if you decide to give up all foods and drinks that stain your teeth — such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and wine — your teeth are still going to experience some discoloration over time.
Don’t let this news deter you from whitening your teeth. When you whiten your teeth with high-quality products, they’re likely to maintain their new color for up to a couple years.
Just remember that if you want to keep your teeth looking nice and white for a long time, you’ll need to make whitening them a regular occurrence.
The Good News About Whitening Your Teeth
If you have sensitive teeth, gum disease, or teeth with worn enamel, then whitening might not be ideal for you. It’s also not recommended for pregnant women, as an extra precaution. But, if none of these conditions apply, then there’s no reason for you to avoid whitening your teeth.
When used properly and in the right amounts for a limited period of time, teeth whitening products are perfectly safe. You might experience some temporary sensitivity immediately after whitening. But, that sensitivity will subside fairly quickly.
So, whitening your teeth will not cause damage to your teeth. In fact, whitening gels can even improve your overall dental health!
Benefits of Teeth Whitening
Now that we’ve debunked some of the most common myths regarding whitening teeth, let’s talk about some of the reasons you should consider brightening up your smile.
Of course, a lot of the benefits that come from whitening teeth are aesthetically based. For example, if you want your smile to really pop in photos, teeth whitening goes a long way in enhancing your overall look.
Most people also naturally associate stained or yellow teeth with aging. So, when you whiten your teeth, you’ll find that you look younger. A whiter smile also helps to take attention away from wrinkles and other signs of aging, which is a huge bonus for a lot of people.
When you look better, you feel better, right? Whitening teeth will cause your self-confidence to skyrocket, and you might find yourself willing to try new things that you never felt able to do before.
When you’re confident, you’ll seem more friendly and trustworthy. This means you’re more likely to attract other confident, friendly people into your life.
Improved Romantic Life
White teeth are also seen by most people as an indication that you take care of yourself.
This is a trait that many potential love interests find attractive, so you’ll likely see your dating life improve post teeth whitening. Who wouldn’t be into that?
Improved Professional Life
It’s been suggested that whiter teeth can improve your work life in addition to your romantic life.
Knowing that your teeth are nice and pearly white will give you the confidence to smile more in every situation. A confidence and a dazzling smile are two things that will definitely work in your favor during your next big job interview.
Even after you land the job, your white smile will continue to work in your favor. You’ll be able to bring the same energy to salary negotiations, brainstorming sessions, and other business interactions.
Better Oral Health
Not only are teeth whitening products perfectly safe to use on your teeth, but they can actually improve your overall oral health.
These improvements come from the fact that many gels used for whitening teeth have been proven to cut down on the “bad” bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease and tooth decay. These gels also help balance the PH levels in your mouth.
Tooth decay is caused by acid erosion. So, neutralizing these acids helps protect your teeth from decay.
Teeth whitening also indirectly helps boost your oral health by giving you the motivation to protect your investment.
Once you’ve invested the money in whitening your teeth, you’ll likely want to keep them white for as long as possible.
Many people find that, after they’ve had their teeth whitened, they’re more likely to put in the time to brush and floss regularly so that they can keep their teeth in good shape. These better practices often lead to an overall improvement in oral health.
Better Mental Health
When you take care of your oral health by brushing and flossing more regularly, you cut down on your risk of developing inflammation from gum disease.
Inflammation is believed to be a contributor to a number of diseases, including ones like dementia and Alzheimer’s that affect your cognitive ability. So, whitening teeth not only reduces your risk of developing gum disease, it also decreases your risk of developing debilitating mental health conditions.
Smiling more because you want to show off your new smile will also improve your mental health by releasing endorphins and boosting your mood. This helps you gain a more positive outlook on life!
Better Overall Health
When you minimize inflammation with proper oral care, you also decrease your risk for developing several of serious conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
The Best Tools For Whitening Teeth
Are you convinced that whitening your teeth is a good idea? If so, how do you decide which whitening products to use?
At Smile Supply Co., we offer a simple, effective, and affordable kit for whitening teeth in just five minutes a day. Most people who use our products see their teeth get up to 12 shades whiter!
Our Innovative Whitening Kit and simple Teeth Whitening Pen feature a powerful whitening gel that contains 35% Carbamide Peroxide, which helps you whiten your teeth without extra sensitivity. These are both great, 100% safe tools that will help you get the smile you’ve always wanted.
Order your products today, and be sure to sign up for our email newsletter so you can stay up to date on all our newest teeth whitening products!