How Teeth Whitening Works: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to teeth whitening, we've heard it all:

  • It's bad for your teeth 
  • It will weaken your enamel 
  • It will irritate your gums 
  • DIY treatments like oil pulling work better 
  • It can remove all or any stains
  • You only need to do it once

All these misconceptions about teeth whitening come from not understanding how this process works and from failed DIY treatments. 

So, here's everything you need to know about teeth whitening. 

Teeth Whitening Is Safe 

And by that, we mean teeth whitening is safe when performed by a professional or under a dentist's supervision. 

Teeth whitening solutions contain a bleaching agent, usually hydrogen peroxide, that penetrates the enamel to break down stain molecules from inside the tooth's structure. While you may feel your teeth a bit sensitive for a couple of days after the treatment, it doesn't affect the integrity of your enamel. 

Over-the-counter whitening treatments, however, can be trickier. It's very tempting to use more whitening solution than recommended hoping to get better, faster, or longer-lasting results. The outcome, unfortunately, can be irritated gums. 

It's Not a Miracle Treatment 

While professional treatment can remove a wide variety of stains, if your teeth are severely discolored, we may recommend a different cosmetic treatment, such as veneers. Moreover, it doesn't last forever and you will need to repeat the treatment every couple of years or so. 

It's Not an Indication of How Healthy Your Teeth Are

We tend to associate white teeth with a healthy smile, but that's not always the case. That's why we always check our patients' oral health and address any issues we notice, like cavities or gum disease, to make sure that their teeth will be both white and healthy. 

You Do Need to Avoid Staining Food for a While 

Your teeth become more porous after whitening treatment and more prone to absorb staining and acidic foods. Stay away from pigmented foods and beverages for a couple of days. This includes coffee, red wine, soda, orange juice, tomato sauce, berries, and so on. 

You Can't Whiten Crowns or Veneers 

If you have veneers or dental crowns, it's important to know that the materials they are made of (usually porcelain, composite resin, or metal alloys) don't respond to whitening treatments. 

You Won't Get the Same Results As Your Friend or Family Member 

Our teeth have different colors and different levels of whiteness. If your friend got a whitening treatment and got a shiny, Hollywood-like smile, it's not a guarantee that you will get similar results. 

We Can Help You Transform Your Smile 

If you are looking for a quick and effective cosmetic dental treatment, teeth whitening can be a great solution. 

At Woburn Dental Associates, we offer both in-office and at-home whitening treatments. Regardless of what you opt for, you will get a personalized treatment that will ensure great and lasting results. 

Get in touch with our friendly team to book an appointment for a consultation and whitening treatment with one of our dentists.

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