Lesser Known Facts About Tooth Whitening


These days it’s hard to know what’s natural and what’s fake! And those gleaming, white smiles that you see in magazines and through the media are no different. Be assured, most people who are in front of cameras, or in a job that requires face to face contact have had, or are thinking of having, their teeth aesthetics improved by tooth whitening.

About 1.7 billion Americans have improved their smile by using denture cosmetics or tooth whitening products. Unlike many other cosmetic surgery procedures, the tooth whitening procedure is not only inexpensive but it can be quickly achieved (depending on how discolored the teeth are). And the end result not only improves your smile but it can have the effect of making you look younger. You can see why this cosmetic industry has been quickly gaining in popularity over the last few years!

Why is it that our teeth change in appearance? Some people genetically have a yellow-tinge to the teeth. Others have found their teeth becoming more yellowish as they grow older. Often this is due to our dietary intake. Those cups of coffee and tea, that glass of wine, and those cigarettes are the major players in staining the teeth. Not many people are willing to radically change their diet just to prevent the discoloration of teeth. How much easier is it to just get the tooth whitening procedure done!

Sometimes, teeth are unsuitable to have the bleaching procedure and the dentist may advise dental crowns or porcelain veneers. This may be the case for badly chipped, damaged, or stained teeth. Some dentists also include the use of tooth whitener light activation as an addition to the bleaching process of tooth whitening.

So, how do you go about whitening your teeth? Bleaching teeth depends on two factors: the concentration of peroxide in the whitener, and the amount of time this whitener is in contact with the teeth.

There are quite a few tooth whitening options available. You may decide to have your dentist perform the bleaching procedure or you may go for one of the at-home products. The tray-based whitening method, when a plastic tray fits over the mouth for a few hours each day, has become the most popular at-home kit. Manufacturers who have earned the American Dental Association seal of approval are kits that you can be assured are safe, quality products. Most over-the-counter products haven’t yet earned the ADA’s approval. However, your dentist may use a generic product that they have researched and found to be as satisfactory.

Gleaming white teeth comes at a price. The two main down-sides, hot and cold sensitivity and gum irritation, have affected a low percentage of uses. It has been found that enamel erosion is so small, that drinking soft drinks and fruit juices is comparable to the damage caused.

However, tooth whitening products that use a high concentration of peroxide, an acidic whitener or an acidic pre-rinse can cause severe damage to the teeth. It all comes down to knowing your product. 10% peroxide whiteners have been found to be safe to use with little side effects.

It is still unknown if tooth whiteners cause cancer but there are some who believe so as the free-radicals can be affected during the process.

Of course, these tooth whitening treatments do not last forever. After 2 to 3 years you will probably have to re-do the treatment. Research has shown, though, that most people felt their teeth never regressed to the original discoloration.

So, the procedure of tooth whitening is a simple yet effective way to improve your smile, feel more confident, and possibly the end result may enhance your life opportunities!