Bleaching Myths Debunked

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Myth: Bleaching Results Last Forever

The Truth: “Don’t believe it if someone tells you that tooth bleaching is permanent; it’s not true,” says Cleveland cosmetic dentist John Heimke, DMD. “If you only ate and drank clear foods and liquids, then, yes, your results would last indefinitely, but this isn’t realistic. On average, results last about three to six months.” To extend your results, avoid dark-colored foods and drinks, which can stain your teeth. 

Myth: Bleaching Your Teeth Can Make Your Smile 15 Shades Lighter

The Truth: “When the teeth are first bleached, you may get an initial difference of up to 15 shades, but it’s not going to look like that the day after,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, DDS. These dramatic results are actually due to temporary dehydration of the teeth, which translates into a stark white, opaque look. “Bleach can seep deeper into a porous, dry tooth more so than a hydrated one, where saliva coats the outer layer of enamel,” he adds. Once the teeth are exposed to saliva again for a few hours, they will revert to a more natural hue. “Around eight shades is about right, depending on the guide used by your dentist. Don’t be fooled, though—your results won’t be night and day, although they will be noticeable,” he says.

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