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The Truth About Teeth Whitening

You’ve probably been bombarded by advertisements for products that promise to give you a shimmering, pearly white smile fit for a Hollywood star. However, these promises tend to fall flat when it comes to transforming your smile into the same shade of white that you’ve seen in commercials. That isn’t to say that teeth whitening treatments are a waste of time or don’t work, there are numerous ways that you can achieve a brighter, whiter smile that you’ll feel proud of. Understanding the truth about teeth whitening will empower you to make an informed decision about what options will work best for you and your smile.

Not Everything Can Be Whitened

Perhaps the most misleading aspect of teeth whitening treatments is that not every area on the surface can be successfully whitened. For example, if you have darker areas on your teeth that are the result of cavities, fillings, or other dental procedures, these can not be addressed by cosmetic teeth whitening. More importantly, if you have noticed dark spots on your teeth that don’t seem to be altered by a whitening treatment, this is likely an indication of a more serious issue that needs to be addressed before you pursue additional treatments.

You Should Expect Side Effects

Like with any dental procedure, whitening your teeth will leave you with some side effects that you should be aware of. The most common consequence is tooth sensitivity that could last for a few hours or several days. If you notice that your sensitivity persists for longer than the initial period, you should cease any further treatments and consult with your dentist. It’s important to remember that teeth whitening does not benefit the health of your tooth enamel and is used for purely cosmetic purposes.

Not All Treatments Are Equal

While it can be tempting to go for the less expensive, over-the-counter teeth whitening kits, keep in mind that not all treatments are created equal. For example, all teeth whitening treatments consist of hydrogen peroxide, a chemical compound that can break down stains on the surface of your teeth. However, store-bought whitening kits contain substantially lower concentrations of this essential ingredient and will likely require many rounds of whitening before you see results. Additionally, over-the-counter whitening kits that use plastic trays or strips are less customizable for your unique smile, which can lead to inconsistencies in the witness of your teeth. Whitening treatments utilized by dentists feature a molded tray that is designed to cover the total surface area of your smile.


Most of us would love to have a brighter, whiter smile and there are plenty of whitening treatments that are readily available. Understanding your options will help you make an informed decision and improve your chances of achieving the results you desire. As with any procedure, you should consult with your dentist to discuss any concerns or potential side effects that you may experience.

Dr. Julie Liberman DDS of Great Neck Dental Care NY proudly serves patients of all ages in the Great Neck area, spanning New Hyde Park, Floral Park, Douglaston, Jericho, Roslyn, etc. Book your checkup today to determine if teeth whitening is right for you.

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Merrick, NY