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Teeth Whitening A Dangerous Marketing Gimmick Says Dr. Ellie Phillips

Updated on March 26, 2015

It’s nearly impossible to find unbiased information about teeth whitening. Everyone from licensed Dentists, Mall Kiosk employees and online marketers are seeking to profit from the trend.

Those that have something to gain from convincing you that teeth whitening is a good idea will tell you that it is entirely safe. The American Dental Association is on board as well. Professional quality tray whitening kits, still considered the gold standard of teeth whitening, have the ADA’s stamp of approval. Low concentrations of peroxide (usually administered overnight) have been tested and deemed safe. However, most people are opting for powerful whitening gel, cheap over the counter products and Zoom in-office procedures that are riskier and may have long-term consequences if abused.

Dr. Ellie Phillips, a retired dentist and advocate of minimally invasive dentistry has a unique position about teeth whitening procedures. Anything acidic is bad for teeth enamel. Drinks such as lemonade and Coke are prime examples. You probably wouldn’t want to fall asleep with either sitting on your teeth and yet this is exactly what people do with teeth whitening kits.

Acidity makes teeth porous so bleach can readily be absorbed into dentin inside of the tooth, which is naturally yellow in colour. Once the dentin has been lightened the teeth appear whiter. The problem is that the enamel has become more porous in the process. Ironically, the enlarged pores make it easier for teeth to become stained again until the enamel has recovered. Thankfully weakened enamel isn’t permanent as some fear mongers claim. With care, the enamel of the teeth will recover after whitening.

So yes, teeth whitening is a quick fix solution that isn’t particularly good for your oral health. For a short term cosmetic improvement you are putting a strain on your enamel. If you are a perfectionist that bleaches often, that strain may soon become damage.

The risks seem reasonable until you learn that there is a better way to get whiter teeth. It isn’t a popular answer because most people want a quick fix. If you dedicate yourself to improving your oral health over time and use the right methods, your teeth will get whiter.

Kim Kardashian's gorgeous smile.
Kim Kardashian's gorgeous smile.

Whiter Teeth for the Long Haul

The goal here is to remineralize the enamel. Over time the pores in the teeth will shrink, making the surface harder and in turn whiter. Like a diamond, a healthy tooth reflects more light creating the appearance of vibrancy.

One of the major road blocks to a healthier smile is dental caries. Dr. Ellie Phillip’s system incorporates Xylitol, a natural sweeter which kills off harmful bacteria that leads to staining and unsightly plaque. Xylitol doesn’t have enough carbon atoms to properly appease the appetite of the bacteria, so the organisms die off trying to feed. With steady exposure to xylitol throughout the day you can work towards getting rid of these nasty intruders.

Another key component to Ellie’s system is sodium fluoride. Although unfashionable and constantly attacked by conspiracy theorists fluoride is still one of the best compounds to be used to promote remineralization. It perfectly complements xylitol creating a synergistic effect.

Zellie’s System

You can work towards getting brighter teeth with readily available products found at any drug store. Within only a month or two of using the system you will notice pinker gums. Those dedicated enough to stick with it for at least a year will notice whiter teeth due to stronger enamel. Teeth will continue to look better up to two years on the system.

Follow these steps twice a day. Once after you wake up in the morning and once before you retire to bed.

Step 1. Rinse with Closys
Step 2. Brush with Crest Cavity Projection
Step 3. Rinse with Listerine
Step 4. Rinse with Act Anti-cavity Fluoride Rinse

The Verdict

If used responsibly teeth whitening procedures are good for giving you confidence boost. Just remember that the short term gains don’t come without a cost. With current data, dentists know that peroxide isn’t good for the teeth or gums. It simply isn’t dangerous enough to outweigh the perceived benefit of whiter teeth.

Let’s face it, not everyone has the dedication to get whiter teeth through the slow process of remineralization as outlined in Zellie’s System above. Without question it is the best way to whiten your teeth by harnessing the natural healing power of the mouth.


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      Levertis Steele 5 years ago from Southern Clime

      Awesome tips! Strawberries??!! I must try some of these. Thanks for sharing so many ideas.