We love having a bright, white smile, but getting those pearly whites looking their best can be tricky. There are all kinds of teeth whitening treatments at the drugstore and DIY hacks online, but do they work? These are some of the biggest myths out there about teeth whitening that we all need to stop believing.
- Active charcoal is the best way to whiten teeth - This trendy ingredient is popular, but is it good for our teeth? Uchenna Okoye warns charcoal can be very abrasive, so if you use it, apply it with your finger instead of a toothbrush, so it’s gentler.
- Whitening toothpastes are the safest option - The problem is that some are too abrasive and can wear the outer enamel of teeth, exposing the inner dentine, which is more yellow and more likely to be sensitive. Dr. Okoye recommends Oral B whitening toothpastes that remove stains and seal teeth to help prevent new stains.
- Oil pulling can remove stains - The practice of swishing oil in your mouth for 20 minutes is an ancient Ayurvedic one, and fans say it removes stains and toxins, leaving teeth whiter. But Dr. Okoye points out that there’s no research showing these benefits.
- Teeth whitening is permanent - Even if you shell out for professional whitening, you’ll need to get touch-ups. According to SafeToothWhitening.org, “the effects of whitening are thought to last up to three years.” Of course, staying away from known tooth stainers like tea, coffee, and red wine can help your smile stay white longer.
- Home whitening kits are just as effective as professional treatments - These vary from country to country, and some are more abrasive than others, so it really depends.