Teeth Whitening: Fact Or Fiction

Above: Should you get your teeth whitened?
Above: Should you get your teeth whitened?

We all want a dazzling white smile and thanks to numerous advancements in whitening products and treatments, pearlier whites can be achieved much more easily than ever before.

Although white teeth aren’t necessarily a sign of the health of your teeth and gums, a bright smile is up there on features people notice first. But there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to teeth whitening–here’s the lowdown.

Fiction: Whitening products can damage your teeth

Whitening products for at-home use or the treatments you get at a dentist’s office when used as directed are safe for your enamel, says Clayton De Corte, a registered dental hygienist from NOWSmile in Toronto. “Some people think they can be detrimental to your teeth, but they’re safe and effective.”

Fact: Brushing makes your teeth whiter

Good dental hygiene dictates frequent brushing, which can help make your teeth whiter. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day helps keep them white by removing the debris that accumulates from normal eating and drinking.  Brush gently with a manual toothbrush or try an electric toothbrush.

Fiction: People with sensitive teeth can’t whiten their teeth

Those who suffer from sensitive teeth can whiten their teeth, however, when using a whitening toothpaste, they should make sure it is one designed for sensitive teeth. Whitening toothpastes can be slightly more abrasive as they’re designed to remove stains, explains De Corte.

Fact: Your lifestyle habits affect how white your teeth are

Your genetics play a role, but what you eat and drink affects how white your teeth are.  Red wine, coffee, tea and cigarettes will all stain your teeth. “If you’re in the office all day and drinking tea or coffee, you can alleviate some of the staining by drinking water or chewing sugarless gum afterwards,” says De Corte. “This gets your salivary glands going and your saliva will also help make you less prone to cavities.”

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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