When visiting the dentist, parents often tell their frightened children that “the dentist is your friend,” which is quite true. Dr. Barber and Family Alliance Dental in Fayetteville, NC want nothing more than see their patients come out of the dental office showing off their best smile. Despite this, Dr. Barber still needs to contend with several myths surrounding whiter teeth.

A lot of people remain under the impression that good dental health is always associated with perfectly white teeth. However, despite having seemingly perfect pearly whites all their lives, people still need to see Dr. Barber at least twice a year. After all, beautiful teeth could have cavities and infections which may go undetected.

Moreover, teeth don’t stay healthy and white for good; excessive exposure to nicotine, caffeine, and sugary foods and beverages often leads to discoloration and cavities, especially if proper oral hygiene is not observed. These substances have little effect on the teeth in the short term, but their nasty effects do accumulate. Brushing and rinsing teeth after smoking helps, as well as moderation in consuming stain-forming substances like tea, coffee, wine, and chocolate.

When tooth discoloration becomes too severe, dental whitening treatments are probably your best option. However, some people become reluctant to whiten their stained yet healthy teeth upon hearing speculations like dental whitening can damage the enamel. Although whitening is not recommended for everybody, Dr. Barber and Alliance Family Dental can assure patients that the whitening treatments they perform are safe and follow strict FDA regulations.

People who whiten their teeth on their own may have heard of claims like whitening teeth with sodium bicarbonate is harmless. Dentists warn that this is not true. Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), more commonly known as baking soda, has abrasive properties that can harm dental enamel. In contrast, Dr. Barber and Alliance Family Dental uses peroxide bleaching agents like carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide that bleach teeth with mild sensitivity and minimal damage to the enamel.

Aside from bleaching, those who are thinking of getting veneers are sometimes worried that the procedure results in severely worn teeth that are fragile and prone to breaking. On the contrary, veneers require only minimal dental shaving and some topical anesthesia. The veneers are so thin that there is barely any need to modify the appearance of the patient’s actual teeth.

That being said, it is also untrue that using veneers increases sensitivity. Any trustworthy practitioner of Fayetteville, NC family dentistry like Dr. Patrice Barber would inform patients that veneers can actually protect teeth from sensitivity. With these assurances in mind, patients have something to smile about.