We’re obsessed with white teeth, but we’re less obsessed with jumping through the necessary hoops to get them. That’s why despite the fact that dentists’ in-office professional whitening treatments are consistently more effective than over-the-counter whitening products, we still invest our hopes in easy whitening products.

From drugstore strips that promise to dramatically brighten our smiles with just five minutes a day, to crazy DIY solutions that can do more harm than good, we’re suckers for a product that promises to make whitening a snap. Which is why we continue to fall for whitening gum and whitening toothpaste… even though they aren’t really doing our teeth any favors, either.

Happy career woman working in her firm while showing off her white smile courtesy of a cosmetic dentist. When it comes to your teeth, don't trust the products in a drug store.

Whitening Gum: A Lot of Chewing for Little Reward

Whitening gum might sound like a great deal — you probably already chew gum, so why not whiten your smile while you’re at it? But it’s important to read the fine print. Many of these gums only promise to show results if you chew as many as five pieces of gum a day, and for many months consistently. For those who already suffer from TMJ symptoms like jaw pain, habitually chewing gum can exacerbate symptoms, and even create new ones. Other TMJ symptoms can include frequent headaches, vertigo, and tingling in the fingers.

Whitening gum’s active ingredients are also highly abrasive (that’s what wears down the stained surface of the tooth to whiten it.) Since your enamel is the last line of defense between your teeth and cavities, weakening it intentionally is never a good idea.

Whitening Toothpaste: Only Surface Level

Whitening toothpaste also sounds convenient, but just like the gum, its benefits are being highly exaggerated by advertisers. All that a whitening toothpaste can do is lighten surface stains, which means that you won’t end up with a bright, gleaming smile unless you naturally have very white teeth.

And of course, whitening toothpastes utilize some of the same abrasive ingredients that whitening gums do, meaning that they pose a similar threat to your enamel.

The Right Way to Whiten

If you’re truly invested in a bright white smile, your dentist is the only one who can give it to you. An experienced cosmetic dentist will be able to offer multiple options for lightening a smile that’s stained, discolored, and even naturally dark. Most dentists offer both in-office and take-home whitening treatments that can each whiten your teeth significantly, and when used in conjunction, can produce dramatic and long-lasting effects, leaving your teeth up to eight shades whiter.

A dentist can also tell you before you start if your stains will respond to whitening or if you would benefit from a different approach like veneers.

If you want to learn what kind of results you can get from teeth whitening in Corpus Christi, please call (361) 851-8274 or email the Corpus Christi Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today.