Monday, March 28, 2016

Teeth Whitening At The Dentist: What You Need to Know

When asked to rate the most attractive physical feature, both men and women consistently agree that the smile outranks the eyes, hair, and even the body! A nice smile has an immediate, often subconscious impact on everyone you meet. It can convey more about you in an instant than your words ever could. Are you a nice, warm, approachable person, or maybe a bit standoffish? Yes, a genuine smile is arguably the most powerful expression in human history. But sometimes things get in the way of what we're trying to say with our smiles.

Even if we take good care of our teeth, brush and floss and gargle as instructed, they often lose their luster as we age. The primary cause of tooth discoloration is the loss of dental enamel, which makes our teeth more absorbent and prone to stain. There are a few things we can do to slow the process, but teeth will eventually become duller and yellower when enamel loss occurs. That is the main reason why tooth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure on the planet!

Does It Work?

No matter how faded or discolored your not-so pearly whites may be, they can almost always be lightened several shades with a simple in-office dental treatment. Because this professional procedure is far more effective than home teeth whitening products and kits, they have become increasingly popular with patients of all ages. In fact, a recent report from the American Dental Association (ADA) estimated that it is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the U.S.

Whitening Systems

As we mentioned, over-the-counter brightening products are widely available in America. According to a study from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, we spend more than $1.4 billion on them each year! Why do we love them? The main reasons are that they're cheap, easy to find, and easy to use. You can pick them up at nearly any supermarket or drugstore in America. They are also fairly effective at brightening choppers a couple of shades in the short term. With that said, no do-it-yourself system can compare with the average results of a professional teeth whitening procedure at the dentist. Why is this?

To begin with, the commercial solutions that are available for sale are not nearly as powerful as the ones a professional will use. Secondly, these kits do not include the expensive tools and dental equipment that is needed to professionally complete the procedure. And thirdly, you aren't a dentist! It is also important to note that whitening strips and gels can cause irritation, even numbness of teeth and gums if they are overused or improperly applied.

Professional Whitening

Much safer, more effective, and longer lasting than anything you might use at home, the only reason professional whitening isn't always used when someone wants to brighten their smile is that it can be expensive. Prices range from around $300 to $800, depending on the dentist and the number of treatments needed.

The Bottom Line

Even if that price seems steep, the truth is that you'll probably end up paying nearly as much if you use high-quality commercial products, since you'll have to use more of them for a much longer period of time. So, if you really want that movie-star smile, it's best to invest in yourself and get what you pay for.

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