Recently I encountered a patient who was chronic smoker for a long time and thus had developed teeth stains. No doubt he required scaling but being a villager he was embraced by various dental related myths like tooth cleaning makes your teeth loose and apparently will get dislodged from the oral cavity.

This is just one example but if you are serving somewhere in far flung areas then you will notice that these myths are prevalent on a large scale.

So, today I will be discussing with you the myths and the facts associated with dentistry regarding teeth whitening.

Before starting the topic let us discuss regarding the causes that can lead to teeth discoloration.


Causes of Teeth Discoloration

Most common causes of teeth discoloration are:

  1. Excess consumption of tea and coffee

  2. Chronic tobacco consumption

  3. Intake of carbonated drinks

  4. Sometimes teeth discoloration is genetic and may run in families

  5. Drugs like iron supplements and tetracycline

  6. Poor oral hygiene and improper brushing techniques.


Myths and facts about teeth whitening

Myth: Baking soda is good home remedy for teeth whitening

Fact: Baking soda whitens your teeth by eroding the outermost tooth layer i.e. enamels.  So using baking soda can expose the underlying dentin thereby making your teeth sensitive to hot and cold.

Myth: Lemon juice is good for teeth

Fact: Lemon juice is rich in citric acid which is actually deteriorating to your body. When you apply lemon juice to your teeth then you are causing the calcium to erode form teeth and let me tell you that calcium ones lost from the tooth is lost permanently. You can’t regain tooth calcium. So, avoid brushing with lemon juice.

Myth: Vinegar and salt combination is the best

Fact: Getting influenced from various dental advertisements, people start using the above combination but it is not good for the health of your beloved teeth. Though the combination will make your teeth look whiter but only for a short span of time. Reason being that the combination causes severe erosion of enamel which after certain period of time causes tooth to become sensitive to hot and cold.

Myth: Professional teeth whitening is very painful

Fact:  Initially for 24 hours your teeth will be sensitive to hot and cold but after that remineralization process begins and the gums and periodontium regains their natural hold on teeth. If you are having pain even after 24 hours then after consulting your dentist you can start off with over the counter painkillers.

Myth: Teeth ones whitened are for lifetime

Fact: The fact is that you need to get teeth whitening done at dental office regularly otherwise teeth will regain their original texture.  Also you can use various at-home tooth whitening procedures.

So, these are some of the common myths about teeth whitening and facts associated with these myths. It is advised that you maintain a good oral hygiene by brushing twice, flossing and doing mouthwash gargles. Avoid these artificial procedures unless highly recommended.


 

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Comments

  • Dr.Ritz

    Dr.Ritz 22 - September - 2012, at 02:57 AM

  • Dear EMILY,There are 2 types of stains on teeth.There are intrinsic stains and extrinsic stains on the teeth. Extrinsic stains are due to poor oral hygiene or certain food stuffs and intrinsic stains are because of heredity or systemic factors or some medicaments.For the extrinsic stains, apart from brushing and flossing,You can go for professional teeth whitening.Professional tooth whitening is the fastest and safest way to make teeth white.In this,bleaching gel is used.Home bleaching method can also be used to make teeth white.Apart from that,you can also use crest whitening strips to remove stains and for making teeth bit whiter.If there are intrinsic stains present,then you can opt for lumineers,veneers or crowns for it.Without clinical examination,we can’t say whether there are extrinsic or intrinsic stains present on the teeth.You need to refer to your dentist for this and get necessary treatment done.I hope that helps.If you still have any doubts,let us know.Good luck!

  • emily

    emily 22 - September - 2012, at 01:06 AM

  • Thanks a lot for such a wonderful article. It is really helpful. Can you tell me the best methods to whiten the teeth. My teeth are quite yellow and i was using salt to brush my teeth and i think due to this only they are sensitive. So, what should i do now to whiten my teeth and to get rid of this sensitivity. I can't enjoy my favorite food.

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