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Teeth Whitening NYC: Reality Vs Myth

While a Hollywood grin of pearly whites used to be something reserved for the rich and famous, brightening up your smile is now something that anyone can access, thanks to a simple procedure: teeth whitening. NYC alone is seeing a surge in patients seeking out this simple aesthetic treatment to give their smile a lift. While the actual procedure is quick and easy, knowing where to start can be a little overwhelming. You can visit your local drugstore to find at-home brightening kits, or even flick through a magazine for some “natural” whitening tips. However, to ensure that you have all the information you need and, more importantly, you get the results that you want, it’s always recommended that you visit a professional for teeth whitening – NYC is full of fantastic dentists to choose from.

There’s no doubt that a healthy, white smile can boost confidence and make you feel your best. It’s affordable and accessible, but it’s still a choice that needs to suit you. To help you decide whether this is the right option for you, we’ve compiled a few of the most common myths about teeth whitening (NYC is full of them) and we’re ready to bust them!

Myth 1: At-home kits are just as good as visiting a professional

While the at-home kits you buy at the store provide convenience and can be a bit cheaper, unfortunately, nothing compares to professional teeth whitening. NYC has plenty of excellent dentists that can offer this treatment at an affordable price, but the difference is the gel they use. Not only does it contain higher quantities of active ingredients, but your dentist has the knowledge to determine how much is needed specifically for you. So the whole experience is a lot more bespoke and effective. It’s also worth keeping in mind that selecting something off the shelf might mean choosing an inferior product or not using it correctly, which could mean a total waste of money.

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Myth 2: Teeth Whitening results will last forever

False. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic way to remove all stains and discoloration forever? While many people think that teeth whitening (NYC coffee drinkers, we’re looking at you) is a one-time wonder, this simply isn’t true. Discoloration over time is natural, even in the healthiest of lifestyles. You can avoid staining food or drink, such as the aforementioned coffee, wine, and juices, however, that’s not realistic. Nevertheless, whitening is something that can be maintained so, while you may have to do it a few times a year, that bright smile is still attainable.

Myth 3: Teeth Whitening is harmful to enamel

If you’re visiting a professional dentist or dental hygienist, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. Most processes will use oxygen tape or gels, which remove the stains caused by certain foods – so no abrasion occurs. Your dentist will also be able to decide which procedure suits your mouth best, another reason why it’s always best to see a professional than test it out at home first. 

The only time when whitening can be harmful to the enamel is when it’s mechanical. This is usually found in certain kinds of toothpaste that claim to be brightening. They work by using a low-quality abrasive that could potentially weaken the enamel.

teeth whitening New York

Myth 4: Crowns and veneers can also be whitened

While it’s true that all natural teeth are great candidates for teeth whitening, NYC dentists will tell you that anything other than this will not be effective. This means that if you have crowns and veneers, which are made of porcelain, this procedure won’t be the right one for you. The reason for this is due to the way the gel erodes the stains off of the enamel. Since crowns and veneers are not made from the same material, the process won’t work. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have them whitened; you’ll just need to get them replaced with a new color-matched set of gnashers.

Another thing to consider is your personal dental health. Some people have “dead teeth” due to taking certain medications or other procedures, which means the nerve has been removed. These will not be able to be whitened.

Myth 5: There are loads of natural alternatives that work just as well

It’s true that this process is not a natural thing to do. As we mentioned before, a slight yellowing of teeth is totally normal and healthy. However, many people still look for “natural” alternatives to professional practices. These include everything from coconut oil to acidic fruits, and even those toothpastes that claim to brighten your teeth from day one. Let’s cover these once and for all, because it’s not totally straightforward.

Oil pulling (swishing your mouth with edible oil) sounds a bit nuts, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that supports the claim. However, there’s no scientific proof of its efficacy. The same goes for eating acidic fruits. In fact, dentists actively advise avoiding this method as it could do more harm than good. Finally, the whitening toothpaste. We’ve already touched on this in terms of mechanical whitening; it can remove some stains but it’s not the best treatment if you want to see big results.

Teeth Whitening before and after image

Myth 6: Charcoal is a great ingredient for brightening

Speaking of old wives’ tales… Unfortunately, while charcoal might often be touted as the newest trendy natural alternative – and in some cases, it’s even making an appearance in traditional dentistry – the truth is that it’s just a trend, however, this natural approach might be what you’re looking for. If you want to confirm the effectiveness of a product, just ask your dentist about it.

Myth 7: You’ll have very sensitive teeth

This will vary from person to person. The procedure itself is painless and has little to no discomfort, however you might experience some sensitivity after your treatment. This is common and is nothing to worry about. If you experience serious pain afterwards, you must tell your dentist straight away and stop using the product or stop any further appointments. It’s unlikely that this will happen, but everybody is different, so what suits one person may not be right for you.

Myth 8: All stains will be removed

If only this were true; unfortunately, it’s not. While your dentist will know exactly how to get the most effective results, not all stains are the same. Teeth discoloration can be caused by all sorts of things that go beyond food and drink. Age, genetics, and severity of the stains (such as a past of heavy smoking) all determine how effective this treatment will be for you.

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teeth whitening molecules

Myth 9: You have to change your diet

It’s recommended that you only eat clear or white foods immediately after your teeth whitening; NYC dwellers may find this tricky with all the fantastic restaurants and coffee shops around! It includes plain chicken and fish, white rice, pasta, egg whites – none of the tasty stuff, really! However, having a recoloring procedure doesn’t mean you’re on a diet forever. After a day or two, you should be able to return to your normal preferences. Nonetheless, it’s always helpful to avoid staining foods such as tea, coffee and red wine to reduce the number of times needed to top up your new smile.

Myth 10: Your Teeth Whitening results won’t look natural

The great thing about the process is that you can choose your smile. So if you want to go full glowing Hollywood, you can. Or if you’d prefer something more natural and just want to get rid of a few marks, that’s easy too. You’ll have complete control. Since the effect isn’t instant but rather gradually built up over a few weeks, you can decide where you want to stop. To start with, your dentist will show you a few options of shades –  you’ll have a whole range to choose from – and then they will help you reach your desired color. With their experience, they will also be able to advise on which color will suit you best.

There you have it: the top ten myths about teeth whitening (NYC) busted! Some you may have been familiar with and others you may have never even heard of. Despite the simplicity of this aesthetic practice, with all the rumours swirling around it can get confusing. While we’ve busted a lot of false claims here, the best way to determine whether this is something you should consider is to speak with your dentist. Not only will they have given many patients a smile makeover like this, but they’ll also know all about your oral health and what would suit you best.

Because your smile is the first thing that people see, ensuring that you feel confident about your teeth is important, which is why whitening is a fantastic option. From at-home strips to in-the-surgery gels, there is treatment for everyone.

Teeth Whitening before and after photo