Everybody wants a whiter smile… but none of us want to work for it! That’s why quick and easy whitening solutions are so attractive to us. From over-the-counter strips that brag about the “easy steps” to a whiter smile, to teeth whitening pens you can slip into your purse, we’re crazy about the idea of low-effort whitening.
That’s probably why we’re suckers for products like “whitening gum.” These chewing gums offered by major brands like Trident and Orbit claim to whiten teeth in as little four weeks. For a few bucks per package, that sounds like a great deal, particularly in comparison to the cost of professional whitening treatments at your dentist’s office. But are those claims even true?
How Does Whitening Gum Work?
Despite the wild claims on the packaging and advertising for these whitening gums, the fine print tells a different story. Orbit, for example, notes that you will need to chew the gum five times a day for at least 12 minutes each time in order to see results — and even then, you won’t see results for twelve weeks. That’s 420 pieces of gum, and Orbit doesn’t even say how much of a whitening effect you are likely to see. But even if you’re willing to buy a new pack of Orbit whitening gum every week for three months on the basis of that dubious promise, the whitening effects of the gum could also be damaging your teeth.
That’s because the active ingredients in most whitening gums are abrasive, achieving their whitening effect by essentially sanding down the stained surface of the tooth. While this may temporarily whiten your teeth, it may also be damaging your enamel and increasing your risk of developing cavities. This is also true, we should note, of whitening toothpastes. Always check with a dentist before starting to use a tooth whitening toothpaste.
How to Effectively Whiten Teeth
If you really want a whiter smile, you’re better off ditching the whitening gum and seeing your dentist about a professional whitening treatment. It may be pricier than grabbing some Orbit at the grocery store, but it will also mean strong, immediate results. Not to mention that you can be confident that your teeth will not be damaged by the process.
Here at Smile Columbia Dentistry, we use the Opalescence Whitening System to break down and remove the staining molecules that are trapped in your enamel. Our professional strength whitening gel also includes minerals that will strengthen your teeth and reduce sensitivity, so you’ll see quick results without weakening your teeth.
If you just need a quick brightener, we can perform an in-office treatment that will leave your smile significantly whiter in just one visit. For stronger whitening effects, we can provide take-home kits that can be worn for a few hours a day to produce striking results in just two weeks.