Patients are surprised when we tell them they have cavities, even though their teeth are white.

Although cosmetically appealing, whitened teeth are not necessarily healthier than darker colored teeth. The same is true vice versa; patients with yellow teeth are surprised to hear their teeth are healthy. This shows us that there isn’t a strong correlation between oral health and tooth color.

White Teeth

Actual Patient

Keep reading to learn more on myths about white teeth.

Myth: Yellow Teeth Are Not Normal

Some research shows that yellow teeth are more resistant to decay than white teeth. In fact, as you age, the blood flow to your teeth is reduced, which gives them a yellowed appearance. Assuming your oral health is up to par, yellowing is a completely normal part of aging.

Myth: White Teeth Are Healthy

Interestingly, overuse of whitening products can cause the protective enamel layer of teeth to become damaged. When the enamel layer is broken down, your teeth are more susceptible to damage. This leads to white teeth but poor oral health. Additionally, ultra white teeth are a sign of excessive fluorides or calcium deficiency.

Myth: Whitening Toothpaste Whitens

You may think whitening toothpaste whitens your teeth. In fact, whitening toothpaste simply removes the stains from the surface of your teeth. This reveals your natural tooth color, which may be white or yellowed. Whitening toothpaste cannot actually change the color of your natural tooth.

Myth: Teeth Are Naturally White

Surprise — your teeth have a natural yellow or grey tint to them! The color of your teeth is dependent on the enamel and dentin of your teeth. If the enamel is thin or very translucent, your dentin will be more apparent and cause a yellowish tint. This simply means, a light yellow or light gray tinted smile isn’t necessarily unhealthy or unnatural.

Myth: Darker Coloring Means Lighter Teeth

Europeans actually tend to have lighter colored teeth, naturally. Asians, for example, have increased pigmentation in their skin as well as their teeth. In comparison to Westerners, their teeth tend to be darker. However, due to the contrast between their skin and teeth, you’d never notice!

Myth: Teeth Whitening Is Dangerous

Any tooth lightening procedure achieved through a licensed dentist is perfectly safe. Whitening toothpaste is also safe to use at home to lift surface stains. Although you may experience short term sensitivity after tooth whitening, it’s very normal and not a sign of decreased oral health.