Cosmetic dentistry has gained immense popularity in recent years. More and more people are now asking their dentists about how they can enhance their smiles.
A recent study done by RealSelf found that 40% of Americans want to improve their teeth with Invisalign, veneers, or whitening. With that in mind, there are still plenty of myths surrounding the issue of tooth whitening.
In this post, we will separate the facts from the misconceptions and help you gain a better understanding of what teeth whitening is all about.
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Top 10 Facts About Teeth Whitening
1. There are many factors that impact how white your teeth are. Foods and beverages like wine, coffee, and tea can stain your teeth over time. Smoking can stain your teeth as well. Genetics can also play a role in how white your teeth are.
2. If plaque is not removed regularly through flossing and brushing, it can accumulate to form tartar. Tartar (which is also referred to as calculus) can also influence how bright your teeth are.
3. Some individuals may have stained in the inner layers of their teeth. This can be caused by tiny cracks in the teeth that allow stains to penetrate. Antibiotics can also cause deep stains to develop.
4. No matter the cause of your teeth stains, the natural color of a person’s teeth is defined at birth. The only thing a teeth whitening product or procedure can do is to eliminate all the stains that have developed over time.
5. Bleaching is the most widely used teeth whitening method and can whiten your teeth to look brighter and more radiant. The main ingredient in bleaching products is usually carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. As this substance is broken down, oxygen is absorbed into the tooth’s enamel, and the color of the tooth becomes brighter.
6. The results of teeth whitening can last for up to three years. But, this can vary from one individual to another. If you drink or eat heavily-colored foods or smoke, it’s likely that the whitening will not last as long. This means that you have to take care of your teeth in order to enjoy maximum benefits.
7. In most states, teeth whitening can only be legally done by a professional dentist. With that said, getting your teeth whitened in whitening stores or by beauticians is not permitted under the law. Doing this could expose you to harmful products that may cause permanent damage to your gums and teeth.
8. In the U.S., the teeth whitening products that you can get at your local pharmacy are not allowed to have more than 0.1 % hydrogen peroxide concentration. This concentration is too low to achieve any observable results on the color of your teeth.
9. Tooth whitening can only brighten your existing tooth color and might not be as effective in removing deeply-ingrained stains.
10. You can easily make your teeth brighter by reducing the number of drinks and foods you consume that can stain your teeth. You should also avoid smoking, as this can also contribute to the staining and discoloration of your teeth.
Top 3 Tooth Whitening Tips
1. Don’t buy teeth whitening products from abroad
While the cost of these products may seem like a bargain, it’s not advisable to get your teeth-whitening products from overseas. It is very difficult to know for sure what ingredients have been put in these products, and this may put your health at risk. It is much more difficult to trust online companies, so you cannot be certain that their products are properly tested and of the highest quality. The best way to establish where a teeth whitening product is safe is to consult your dentist.
2. Consult your dentist
When considering teeth whitening, there’s no better place to get accurate and factual information other than your dentist. Not only are they licensed and qualified to perform the treatment, but they will be able to properly address your specific concerns and needs. Dentists are allowed to use bleaching agents that have up to 6% hydrogen peroxide concentration. This is almost 6,000 times stronger than any tooth whitening product you can get at your local pharmacy. Because of this, getting your teeth whitening done by a professional dentist is the smartest decision you can make.
3. Don’t break the law
It is unlawful for anybody other than a licensed dental professional to perform such procedures. Anyone that claims to offer teeth whitening services are essentially committing a crime. By having your teeth whitened by a professional dentist, you can be sure that you are operating within the boundaries of the law and that you are getting a quality service. When teeth whitening procedures go wrong, it can result in permanent and costly damage – it is not worth it to save a few dollars only to put your health at risk.
Expert comments from Dr. Alizadeh
“When done poorly, teeth whitening can result in permanent damage that can be very difficult and expensive to fix.”
“Getting your teeth whitened by unqualified individuals can result in permanent scarring, severe chemical burns and, in some cases, affect your ability to breath and/or eat.”
“It’s crucial that you consult your dentist if you want to have your teeth whitened. It is a common procedure in dentistry and while it may be slightly more expensive, by receiving the treatment from your dentist, you can avoid many negative side effects.”
“Teeth whitening done by anyone other than a qualified hygienist or dentist is unlawful. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way because you may end up regretting a lot.”
For more information about tooth whitening and the regulations and laws that govern it, check out our ‘Teeth Whitening’ page. You can also contact us at (916) 443-5677 if you have any questions or concerns you may have regarding tooth whitening.