Fascinating Facts about Teeth Whitening Treatment

Iqaluit Dental Clinic image of a person with one side of their teeth yellow, and the other side white.
January 25, 2023 0 Comments

At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we know that teeth whitening treatments have become more popular than ever. Apart from going to the dentist, you can get several over-the-counter teeth whitening products that can get you whiter teeth. However, a lot of people have misconceptions about teeth whitening treatments. Let’s check out a few fascinating facts about teeth whitening treatment.

The Facts

1. You don’t need teeth whitening treatment if you don’t have white teeth – Your teeth aren’t naturally bright white. So, if you don’t have perfectly white teeth, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t healthy. The dentin below them is dark yellow and that means someone with light grey or light-yellow teeth may have perfect dental health.

Moreover, your teeth naturally change to darker yellow shades as you age and that’s perfectly normal. If your teeth are stained or have a plaque build-up and aren’t white as a result, then it means they are in poor health and would benefit from teeth whitening treatment. Otherwise, it isn’t necessary. People opt for it due to cosmetic or cultural reasons and since most teeth whitening treatments are affordable.

2. Teeth whitening is safe – In a lot of online forums, people claim that teeth whitening treatment is an unsafe process and may even damage your teeth. However, they are only partially true. A few over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments may be unsafe. For instance, teeth-whitening toothpaste may have corrosive elements that shave away the outer layer of enamel to give your teeth a whiter appearance. However, proper teeth whitening treatment at the dentist comes with no risk.

The whitening gel used during the treatment has some chemicals like peroxide that can be harmful when in contact with soft tissue. However, dentists take all protection measures by applying vitamin E to your lips, protecting the skin with a retractor and a white cloth, and applying a special compound to your gums that harden under UV light. All those measures prevent the whitening gel from coming in contact with soft tissue and other vulnerable parts. Even the amount of UV radiation you get is insignificant and there are no studies that link UV light used during teeth whitening treatments to health risks. 

3. Veneers, crowns and fillings can’t be whitened – While teeth whitening is very convenient, it isn’t applicable for veneers, crowns and fillings. Teeth whitening treatments are designed to get rid of stains from your enamel. On the other hand, veneers. Fillings and crowns aren’t made from enamel. They are synthetic products that don’t respond to any teeth whitening treatment.

That’s why you need to make sure to take care of your veneers and crowns and keep them from staining. It’s also important to get your teeth whitened before you get crowns and veneers to avoid uneven shades of white.

4. Teeth cleaning and whitening aren’t the same – Some people confuse teeth cleaning with teeth whitening. However, they are distinct processes with very different goals. The goal of teeth whitening is to make your teeth bright white, even if they are perfectly healthy. It’s mostly used for cosmetic purposes. Even if you don’t have white but healthy teeth, you can skip teeth whitening treatments.

On the other hand, teeth cleaning is done by dentists to remove all traces of bad bacteria and plaque from your teeth and gums. It must be done regularly, once or twice at the dentist’s every year. When it comes to teeth whitening, you can even do it at home with the right over-the-counter products. 

5. You should avoid teeth whitening treatment if you have braces – While it’s possible to get your teeth whitened with braces, you’re better off avoiding it. The metal, ceramic or polymer braces hold onto your teeth with powerful dental glue and hence cover a certain fraction of them. During teeth whitening processes, the whitening gel applied to your teeth and the UV light shined on it can’t reach those covered portions.

This would leave those portions unwhitened and make your teeth look weird once the braces come off. Moreover, the UV light and whitening gel may even loosen the glue and make the braces come off or reduce the tension in their links. This defeats the purpose of wearing braces that cost thousands of dollars since they won’t be able to align your teeth properly anymore. After that, your braces may need to be reworked and configured at the dentist and that takes away anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand dollars from your wallet. An avoidable expense. 

6. Teeth whitening doesn’t give long-term results – Teeth whitening doesn’t give you permanently white teeth. While the results are great and you get those pearly whites, they will eventually fade, and you would need to get another tooth whitening treatment later on. After each teeth whitening treatment, the results may last anywhere between a few months to a couple of years. It also depends on your diet after the treatment. For instance, if you consume food and beverage that can stain your teeth easily, you may need to get a tooth whitening appointment sooner. 

7. You may experience sensitivity after teeth whitening treatment – Higher tooth sensitivity is a common side effect after a tooth whitening treatment. The whitening gel or other dental-grade bleaching agents used during the treatment are quite powerful and they get into the enamel to whiten your teeth from the inside. In a few cases, the bleaching agent may even reach a nerve ending, resulting in higher tooth sensitivity. However, that’s a temporary annoyance that doesn’t require any medical treatment. Your sensitivity should be back to normal after a few days or weeks. A small price to pay for whiter teeth.


At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we hope that you can go over the above-mentioned facts and consider them before opting for teeth whitening treatments. Beware of over-the-counter options since some of them shave away the enamel layer with corrosives to give you whiter teeth instead of removing the stain.