Myth 1 – Teeth Whitening ruins your tooth enamel
Not generally true! Professional Teeth Whitening product suppliers mostly use Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide as the active ingredients in their tooth whitener gels. The chemical Hydrogen Peroxide (HO) is a bleaching agent which converts into water (HO) and releases an Oxygen molecule (O) in the process of the chemical reaction. Both Water and Oxygen are common, safe components of our everyday lives.
The Oxygen particles penetrate the rough surface of your tooth (even though they appear smooth, they are microscopically rough, rod like crystal structures) and dislodge staining particles. I like to explain this by imagining the TV commercials which show how a clothes washing powder with oxygen lifts stains from your clothing.
The “bleach” Hydrogen Peroxide is not the same as household bleach containing ammonia, or other low-end, acid based tooth whitening products, and can be swallowed, within limits. In fact our own bodies produce Hydrogen Peroxide naturally!
Acidic products can remove enamel from your teeth. Look for teeth whitening products using Hydrogen Peroxide which is pH balanced, meaning they have no, or low acidity levels. Putting acidity into perspective, you should be aware that everyday Orange Juice is shown in lab studies to soften (and potentially erode) tooth enamel by many times more than a professional hydrogen peroxide based tooth whitening gel could, if used correctly.
Myth 2 – Teeth Whitening is not Safe
Not true! Cosmetic Teeth Bleaching with Hydrogen Peroxide has been in use for 100 years. Most recognized dental bodies worldwide endorse tooth bleaching as a generally safe practice, when simple safety steps are followed. Any professional supplier of teeth whitening products will include adequate instructions for the safe use of their product.
Safety vs Risk with tooth whitening is generally centred on 2 main issues: Exposure of the gel to the gums and soft tissue of the mouth or lips, and tooth sensitivity. Both can be minimized by using professional products and minimizing the amount of time the bleaching gel is exposed to the gums or teeth.
As with any cosmetic procedure, there are potential risks. Thankfully with professional teeth whitening any side effects experienced are temporary and are not permanent. As with most cosmetic procedures, you may have to endure some discomfort to look better. Sometimes I call this “Vain Pain”.
Myth 3 – All whitening Gel is the same
Not true! Of the two major professional gel options, there is Carbamide…