In a time period categorized by a constant quest for perfection, any and every flaw can be fixed. New treatment options are being tested and introduced daily. Extremes are the norm. Highly invasive or completely non-invasive procedures seem to be the most popular.
Movie stars and celebrities have blindingly white smiles. Many people think simple whitening products are the cause of these bright smiles, not realizing veneers are usually the reason for the perfect shade of white they see.
What is Causing Discoloration?
Several factors can affect the color of teeth. Food and drinks such as coffee, wine, berries and curry, to name a few, can cause staining on the teeth. Tobacco usage can also add to discoloring. Natural aging, trauma to the mouth and some medications may also have an effect on the color of the teeth.
Teeth Whitening Options
There are four categories of whitening products each with their own strengths and weaknesses:
These are the most effective but also the most expensive. In many situations, you get what you pay for, and some things are worth spending more money on to guarantee safe, effective results.
Sometimes dentists will send you home with trays and whitening gel to use at home. Many times, these are follow-ups to a professional whitening session that will allow you to continue whitening safely until you get the desired color. Occasionally, dentists will have treatments that are 100% do at home.
This consists of whitening strips, toothpaste and gels you can buy in the hygiene section of nearly any store.
This is usually the cheapest option. However, it is a complete gamble as to whether the products you are using are safe when combined or will have any effect on your smile, good or bad.
While professional procedures can be more expensive, they provide the best results using a safe and proven product. Dr. Ken Collins, Spokane area Cosmetic Dentist, uses the ZOOM Whitening system.
“On average our patients see results that get their teeth eight shades lighter in only one visit. We send them home with custom trays and gels so they can continue the process if desired. In today’s world of dental advancements, there really is no reason to let discolored teeth keep you from being happy and confident when one visit to your dentist can change your world.”
Why Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the nation. Americans spend over $1.4 billion each year on over-the-counter teeth whitening products according to a study done in 2007. And that’s old research. If a comprehensive collection of data were done for 2015, the numbers would likely be considerably higher.
It’s not even a new fad. Teeth whitening dates back as far as the ancient Romans who used urine to whiten their teeth. Yes, urine. Gross. This gives a whole new meaning to ‘anything in the name of beauty.’
Is it Safe?
With all the home remedies and do-it-yourself options floating around the internet it can be scary to think of everything that could go wrong. OTC products usually offer no protection to your gums and are easy to overuse or not use correctly. Professional procedures begin with dentist covering the lips and gums to protect them from the bleaching agents.
Dr. Collins says,
“Everything in moderation. The only true concern is for the ‘overbleachers’ as they are sometimes called. Unhealthy and excessive use of whitening products can begin to cause tooth decay. Professional treatments are the safest option as they allow everything to be supervised by a trained medical professional.”
Misuse or overuse of products can cause burns on the gums, sensitivity and tooth decay. The bottom line is, leave it to the professionals if you want a truly white smile without worrying about the safety of your methods. Some things are worth paying extra for.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788