5 Truths & Myths About Teeth Whitening In 2019

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(Last Updated On: April 7, 2020)

Did you just have your teeth whitened? Or are you contemplating doing it soon?

Today I wanted to share 5 Myths about teeth whitening, and the truth behind each one.

Let’s dive right in:

5 truths and myths about teeth whitening


1. The Truth About How Long You Bleach Your Teeth

We hear a lot of questions about how long to leave bleach on teeth. Unfortunately, there seem to be some BIG misconceptions. Teeth whitening can be a great solution, but here’s what you need to know first:

Myth: “The longer I leave the bleach on my teeth, the whiter they will get.”

How Long Should I Leave Bleach On My Teeth?

Truth: There are several correct answers as to how long you should leave a bleaching product on your teeth.  Our office utilizes Ultradent Bleaching products.

Opalescence PF 10% should be removed after 8-10 hours during the day/night. 15% and 20% can be worn 2-4 hours during the day.  HOWEVER, anything over 35% should be removed after 30 minutes.  Trèswhite Supreme may be worn for 30-60 minutes a day.

2. The Truth About Tooth Damage From Bleaching

Teeth whitening can dramatically improve your smile, easily and safely. You can enjoy a bright, confident look with whitening that works. However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any damage, especially if done daily. Here is another common teeth whitening myth:

Myth: “There’s no harm in bleaching every day.”

Can Bleaching Your Teeth Daily Cause Damage?

Truth: Truth be told, you will very likely have a sensitivity to hot, cold and air. Bleaching dehydrates your teeth rendering them vulnerable.

3. The Truth About What You Can Eat or Drink After Teeth Whitening

What to eat or drink after having your teeth whitened is a common concern. In fact, many think that bleaching your teeth will cause your teeth to be invincible to the darkening/yellowing effects of many food and drink. Which leads us to myth #3:

MYTH: “I can eat and drink anything and my teeth will remain white after bleaching.”

What Should I Eat or Drink After Teeth Whitening?

TRUTH: Your teeth naturally darken over time and will not be exempt after you bleach.This is especially true 24 to 48 hours after bleaching, as your teeth are extremely porous.

To extend the lifespan of your bleaching efforts, you should avoid any food, drink with distinct colors, including but not limited to:  coffee, tea, red wine, dark soda, marinara sauces, etc.

4. The Truth About Smoking After Teeth Whitening

Smoking yellows teeth. There is no way around that fact. Still, we occasionally hear some who think this isn’t the case. So here is our fourth myth:

MYTH: “Smoking doesn’t really affect bleaching.”

Can You Smoke After Teeth Whitening?

TRUTH: Smoking is a HUGE factor when it comes to yellowing of teeth. If you smoke, your teeth will yellow; it’s as simple as that; even if you bleach. Try to avoid smoking while whitening for best results.

5. The Truth About Overfilling Your Bleach Trays

Do you sometimes find yourself overfilling your bleaching trays and pressing them down for a more even coverage? Here’s what you need to know before you do it again:

MYTH: “I’m afraid I’m not going to put enough bleach in my trays, so I add a little extra. Then, I make sure to push down on the trays to really spread out the gel.”

What Happens If I Overfill My Bleach Trays?

TRUTH: Overfilling and pushing down to ‘spread out’ the gel actually does more harm than good. Should gel come in contact with your gums, the tissue can be burned, causing great discomfort.

The natural pressure of your lip combined with the warm temperature inside of your mouth, the gel will evenly distribute. One-third to one-half of a syringe should be plenty for a single bleaching application. Overloading the trays is just a waste of product.

Now You Know The Truth – Here’s What To Expect:

Don’t let those Truths/Myths scare you, many patients love the results from their teeth whitening, in fact, that’s why nearly 90% of patients in one study requested to have their teeth whitened. Here at Bradley Rule DDS here is exactly what you can expect, besides amazing results:

In-house treatment, PLUS Custom Trays (typically one office visit):

You can expect to spend anywhere between 90 minutes to two hours with us.  Before your in-house treatment begins, we will take impressions for custom bleaching trays.  Delivery of your custom trays will likely be delivered at the end of your appointment and includes four (4) syringes of bleach. Please contact us for these fees.

Learn more about teeth whitening or download our amazing infographic:

Opalessence Teeth Whitening Infographic


In this free infographic, we will explain the differences and benefits to our Opalessence professional whitening system.


Compare and learn:

  • What results can I expect?
  • How long till I see results?
  • Is it cost effective?
  • Does it hurt or have side-effects?

Don’t wait! Get your gorgeous white smile today!

During your visit, please feel free to bring your headphones and mp3 player, choose a movie from our DVD listings or catch up on your favorite shows on the Internet!

Custom Trays only (two visits): One appointment for impressions and a second for tray/product delivery.

To schedule an appointment, call Dr. Bradley Rule at 847-662-7717

We work hard at our mission:

‘Creating Beautiful Smiles For A Lifetime’

We are proud to serve families in Gurnee, IL Grayslake, Libertyville, Lindenhurst and Wadsworth IL. We look forward to hearing from you!

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