Ever wonder how celebrities get their teeth so brilliantly white? It’s not just good genes… it’s good dental hygiene. And, if you’ve ever toyed with the idea of whitening your own smile, you may hold some common misconceptions about the process. Here are the 10 facts you should know about teeth whitening before you take the plunge:
Your teeth are like sponges…they absorb.
Your teeth have pores just like your skin or a sponge. Anything you put in your mouth that has color will absorb into those pores. Wine, coffee, dark berries, and smoking are extremely active in staining teeth. Over time, the natural color of your teeth becomes darker due to these stains. These stains will never go away unless you actively remove them. Properly formulated teeth whitening gel works by absorbing into your teeth and gently pushing stains out through the pores.
Teeth whitening does not damage your teeth.
Just like aggressive brushing of your teeth, abuse of any kind can be damaging. However, if used as instructed, professional teeth whitening is incredibly safe. The whitening process uses active ingredients to temporarily open pores in your teeth and lift stains. After each whitening session, your teeth naturally remineralize and rehydrate.
The key to teeth whitening is the delivery device.
Most teeth whitening products on the market use similar active ingredients to whiten. The difference is the device that is used to hold the whitening agent on the tooth. A truly custom-fitted whitening tray ensures that every angle of every tooth (regardless of whether your teeth are straight or not) receives even and consistent coverage. Unlike boil & bite trays, whitening strips, and UV lights, fitted whitening trays eliminate the possibility of inconsistencies and allow you to maintain your beautiful smile.
Custom-fitted whitening trays cost $500+ from a dentist in the US.
Dentists charge $500+ for custom fitted trays. You pay this hefty fee because they are doctors and their chair time is valuable. Operating a lab, doing the hand work, and scheduling multiple appointments costs the dentist time and money.
Sensitivity after teeth whitening is normal.
More than 60% of Americans have naturally sensitive teeth. This is most often caused by genetics, thin enamel, or crack/damaged teeth. During the whitening process, it is completely normal for sensitivity to occur. The teeth become temporarily dehydrated which reduces their ability to insulate the nerve from changes in temperature. Sensitivity will disappear 12-36 hours after whitening. Dentists and hygienists recommend a post-whitening fluoride treatment to nourish the teeth and promote rehydration.
Laser or UV light teeth whitening is temporary.
Ultra-violet (UV) light is a frequency of light that works by accelerating the whitening gel to act faster. This process is FDA regulated and only offered under dentist supervision. Although it does whiten very quickly, it is not an option for people with sensitive teeth. Further, the results are temporary and must still be maintained (often with custom-fitted whitening trays or repeat dental visits). The process is incredibly expensive and time consuming.
Stains on teeth cannot be removed overnight.
No product on the market can whiten in a few minutes or a day. Chemically, it is impossible for any whitening agent to safely penetrate deep enough into the teeth at that speed. If this were possible, dentists would not be paid well to create custom-fitted whitening trays. The truth is that the whitening process can take as few as 4 days and up to several months. Customers with severe stains must be patient with the process and know that each whitening session removes years of stains. Once those stains are gone, it is incredibly easy to maintain.
Caps and veneers cannot be whitened.
When artificial caps and veneers are installed, they are created to match the color of your surrounding teeth. The material is created a darker (or lighter) color and can never be changed. Caps and veneers will neither whiten nor stain. Teeth whitening will not damage dental work.
The best time to whiten your teeth is just before bed.
Immediately after whitening (regardless of the product you use), your teeth are more susceptible to restaining. The pores in your teeth are slightly more open and can more easily allow stains in. Smile Brilliant and dentist professionals recommend whitening before bed as it reduces the opportunity for staining and gives your teeth the night to begin rehydrating and remineralizing. To speed up the remineralizing process, a fluoride infused desensitizing gel nourishes and replenishes.
Not everyone’s teeth can be perfectly white.
Regardless of your stains, the natural color (and genetic makeup) of an individual’s teeth are set at birth. The only thing a whitening product can do is remove all the stains that have accumulated over time. Unfortunately, most dentists will not tell you this, nor will they give you any kind of refund if the process doesn’t work.
One system that I can personally vouch for is the Smile Brilliant at-home teeth whitening system. Smile Brilliant is a professional dental lab, without the dentist. They save customers more than 70% off the cost of traditional dentist teeth whitening.
Smile Brilliant’s custom-fitted trays and step-by-step instructions made the whole process simple. (Read more about my experience here.)
Plus, Smile Brilliant’s 45 day money back guarantee gives everyone the opportunity to try professional whitening. You’ll never know just how white your teeth can be until you try!
SAVE NOW at SMILE BRILLIANT: For 20% off, use coupon code susansaidwhattb20.
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DISCLAIMER: No financial compensation was received in exchange for this Smile Brilliant post. I did, however, receive a sample of the product in order to fully test it and provide an honest evaluation. I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers.
Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com and has been your guide to a life filled with style since 2009. You’ll find everything from must-have fashion and beauty items, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest products and ideas for events of all kinds. In addition to editing Susan Said… WHAT?!, Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait!