It happens to a lot of us at one time or another. You are brushing your teeth and you notice something different about your smile.
Your teeth look … yellow. Maybe you try to ignore it. It was probably just the lighting or the angle, right?.
Then you notice it again the next day and the next. You try not to think about it, but you wonder if other people have noticed.
Eventually, you are going to be back in the toothpaste aisle. Should you get the whitening toothpaste? How about that whitening rinse? Or the whitening strips?
Before you do anything, we encourage you to talk to our dentist, Dr. Hadley, if you live in or near Kennewick, WA. At Marineland Dental Care, you can get professional teeth whitening.
What Does ‘Whitening’ Mean?
You probably have an idea of what you think teeth whitening is or, at very least, what it should be.
With all the self-proclaimed whitening products on the markets, how do you know which ones are effective? The American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs asked a similar question a few years ago as they noticed more and more whitening products.
So, they did some research to learn more about the different kinds of products. Here are some tidbits from what they found:
◆ “Whitening” means different things depending on the product being marketed.
◆ Whitening toothpaste could remove surface stains, but they do not contain bleaching agents that can remove deeper stains.
◆ Other commercial whitening products like gels and strips do contain bleaching agents. Generally, this is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide).
◆ To be eligible for the ADA Seal of Acceptance, commercial whitening can contain no more than 10 percent carbamide peroxide. This is the equivalent of 3.5 percent hydrogen peroxide.
◆ Professional whitening products, like the ones you can get at Marineland Dental Care, can contain between 25 and 40 percent hydrogen peroxide.
◆ The ADA council also noted that patients should consult with a dentist before using any whitening product.
Why should you consult with a dentist? Unfortunately, whitening products have the potential to cause damage. Patients with fillings, crowns, or extremely dark should be examined by a dentist before attempting to use whitening products. If your teeth are sensitive already, whitening products can increase that sensitivity.
Teeth Whitening Options
If you are trying to decide between commercial and professional whitening, both have their benefits.
Commercial products are less expensive, and they can be found in almost any toothpaste aisle. On the other hand, professional products are more powerful and will do a better job of removing the deep set stains on your teeth.
To give you an analogy, let’s make an analogy. Professional teeth whitening is to commercial teeth whitening what world-class runners are to recreational runners.
Since the Olympics recently concluded, we’ll use the 10,000 meter (10 kilometer) champion’s time. This year’s winner, Mohamed Farah, finished the race in 27 minutes and five seconds.
A lot of recreational runners would love to be able to finish a 5-kilometer race in that time. That’s not a criticism of recreational runners. We are just illustrating how a world-class athlete can cover more distance (i.e. do more work) in less time than an average person.
Likewise, professional whitening products can remove more stains, and lighten your teeth by several shades in a short period of time. Commercial products, which contain a lower percentage of the whitening agent, can remove some of the stains.
This means you may need to undergo multiple treatments with the commercial products, which means they may not be less expensive when all is said and done. Plus, overuse of whitening products is one of the things that can cause damage to your teeth, which would undercut your reason for having them whitened.
An Alternative To Teeth Whitening
For patients who may need to avoid whitening products, there are alternatives to creating a bright white smile.
The most effective may be veneers. Instead of removing the stains, veneers hide them. Veneers are a kind of shell about as thick as a fingernail. When veneers are bonded to your teeth, they can look as white as you would like.
Plus, veneers have the added advantage of being able to make your teeth look straighter, too.
Whiten Your Smile The Right Way
If you are interested in having a whiter, brighter smile, schedule a consultation at our dentist office in Kennewick, WA. We will be happy to discuss the benefits of teeth whitening, veneers, and other kinds of cosmetic dentistry to find the best solution for you.