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Myth versus Reality - Tooth Whitening

MYTH: Now that my teeth are lighter, I will never have to do it again

REALITY: The color stability depends on how well you clean your teeth, the frequency of consuming foods or beverages that stain, and if you have kicked the smoking habit. In most cases it takes much less time to do a touch-up than the original whitening process

MYTH: Tooth-whitening will make all my teeth, fillings, veneers, crowns and bridges white

REALITY: Only teeth whiten. No whitening products affect crowns, bridges, veneers, bonding and fillings. Be careful.. otherwise you may end up with light teeth and dark restorations. Also, if you require any dental work, consider whitening before you begin treatment, so that your crowns and other restorations can be made to match your newly whitened teeth!

MYTH: Only a dentist can get my teeth their whitest

REALITY: During the past seventeen years we have tried every type of system available. Since the fee for whitening was quite expensive, we felt obligated to stay on top of the latest techniques.

In a comprehensive university-based double blind study (dentist and patient did not know which product they were using) of all major whitening systems, published in a peer-reviewed journal (Compendium), I was shocked to find out the results.

Statistically there was no difference between home bleaching and dentist bleaching for the vast majority of the patients. This was very humbling. From that point on, after examining patients and verifying that their mouths are healthy, recording the existing color and helping patients set realistic expectations, I started recommending over-the-counter products.

MYTH: People of all ages can whiten their teeth

REALITY: The tooth nerve chamber is very large in children and adolescents. Because of this, they may experience an increased sensitivity, and are more likely to have problems. We do not recommend it for children

Editorial Staff

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