What makes the perfect smile? Of course, confidence and attitude take most of the credit. But, it doesn’t hurt to have a nice set of teeth, both in terms of alignment and brightness. The reality is that people don’t always get to have a beautiful, white smile naturally—thanks, filters. The standards are high thanks to the social media culture, that ‘look flawless’ in an instant feeling, unfortunately, does not transfer over as soon as the phone shuts off. This new standard does mean that there are numerous teeth whitening options available to those looking to brighten their smile.
Importantly, there are many people who struggle to keep their teeth white. Common causes have to do with your DNA, age, and daily habits like consuming coffee, tea, and wine. Other factors can also come into play, such as:
- Consumption of tobacco
- Eating naturally pigmented foods and vegetables such as beets and blueberries
- A buildup of plaque and tartar deposits
- Excessive use of fluoride
- Ingesting tetracycline during childhood
- Trauma to the teeth
In most cases, help can come in the form of teeth whitening products. It’s one of the simplest and more affordable ways to improve your smile.
Benefits Of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening can go a long way in enhancing the general quality of your life, not just improving your smile. This is the reason why it’s important to make sure that when looking for the right treatment, you should avoid taking shortcuts.
What can teeth whitening accomplish other than whiter teeth? There are many other benefits that come from pearly whites. These include the following:
It Saves Your Original Teeth
Instead of depending on replacement teeth such as crowns or veneers or even dentures, whiter teeth simply improves the appearance of existing teeth. Prosthetics such as veneers and crowns require changing the shape of your teeth. In contrast, teeth whiteners work on what you already have: healthy, strong teeth. Why even risk filing or reshaping original canines when you can simply whiten them?
It Makes You Feel Younger
Whiter teeth encourage easier smiles. Doing this makes people look and feel younger. As a result, happy, smiling faces seem to project a younger outlook. Manuel C. Voelkle of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin published his study on people’s habit of sharing pictures. The study, which concluded people tend to assign a younger age to people with happy, vibrant smiles. In other words, smiling makes you look younger. And it’s easier to do so when you have great, white teeth.
It’s Easier To Maintain
Maintaining that bright smile will still take some effort and discipline. However, keeping it bright and shiny won’t need professional intervention. Many procedures will provide home whitening maintenance kits. These include custom trays and whitening formulas that can retain those dazzling whites with a few minutes of use a day. This is in addition to abstaining from eating drinking or putting any stain-inducing substance in your mouth for the first 24 hours after a treatment. Plus, if teeth start to discolor again, the dentist will be glad to see you and repeat the procedure.
It Improves Oral Health
Anecdotally, people who opt-in for teeth whitening treatment already indicate a willingness to improve their oral health. It doesn’t matter if teeth whitening is mostly perceived as a cosmetic enhancement. Maintaining white teeth involves keeping teeth healthy, which then leads to a more disciplined approach to daily oral care routines. Want your now-whiter teeth to last? Longer brushing, more flossing, and regular visits to the dentist become regular habits. Otherwise, give your whitening investment a few weeks or months before everything goes back to the way they were before.
Types Of Teeth Whitening Treatments
There are many methods in getting brighter, whiter teeth, from whitening toothpaste to professional whitening programs. Budget-wise, they also run from less than $50 for DIY home products to the full professional package costing up to a thousand. Here are some of the more popular teeth whitening treatments available:
Whitening Toothpaste and Rinses
Whitening toothpaste and rinses are the least expensive option. They act like regular toothpaste but have an added ingredient that attacks surface stains. Used regularly, whitening toothpaste and rinses use special abrasives that can polish tooth surfaces and chemicals such as peroxide to help dissolve common stains.
However, these products cannot work on changing the natural color of a person’s teeth, so if users have naturally yellowish or darker teeth, then toothpaste and rinses can’t do anything about that. Some products do have the pigment blue coravine, which sticks to teeth and helps make them look less yellow.
Whitening Strips and Gels
Even though they're known as bleaching agents, whitening strips or gel products do not contain bleach. Rather, the process is referred to as “bleaching,” a chemical process done by oxidizing stain molecules from the teeth. These products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide and do a good job penetrating the tooth enamel and removing stains.
Caution should be applied for these teeth whitening gels though. Given their active ingredients, overusing these products ultimately damage your tooth’s protective enamel as well as the surface below. This can cause tooth sensitivity over time, which can be a far bigger problem than lesser white teeth.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Instead of depending on DIY kits to get the job done, patients can also opt to have a professional dentist perform teeth whitening procedures. This makes the whitening process faster and more thorough, as the dentist will perform the cleaning and bleaching of each tooth. In addition, the bleaching solution used is much more powerful than the over-the-counter products. Not to worry about its lasting effects, as the process includes rinsing off the solutions applied once the job is done thereby limiting any sensitization that may occur. In addition, the process may include applying a high-powered light that helps speed up the whitening process.
This method can deliver the best bang for the buck. Results often show four to six times whiter teeth during the first session. Consequently, they’re also the most expensive, with each session running to hundreds of dollars. Given that the results produce whiter teeth that last longer, the higher cost would prove to be more cost-effective.
Tray-based Teeth Whiteners
As follow-up treatment to professional teeth whitening services, dentists will prescribe take-home tray-based teeth whitener kits which help maintain the results. Each kit includes a whitening gel, which is less potent than the dental office version. It also includes custom trays shaped to fit the patient’s teeth. For a few minutes a day, patients need to apply the gel into the tray and insert it into the mouth to cover the teeth.
Tray-based whitening kits are also available as a standalone option and can be available at some retail stores selling dental products. They usually run for a couple of hundred dollars, with custom versions being more expensive than the generic ones.
Go For Professional Teeth Whitening With Arkansas Family Dental
Not sure which teeth whitening method to avail? For best results, it’s a good idea to leave it to the professionals. In-office treatments have access to more powerful whitening agents and better equipment. Dentists have better control when applying professional-grade whiteners. In addition, they know better how long to leave them in and when to rinse them. The result speaks for itself: whiter and brighter teeth that last longer. There is no comparison to generic over-the-counter remedies.
Let Arkansas Family Dental handle teeth whitening for you. We offer the latest in teeth whitening technology. Along with custom, personalized treatments that work around your needs, we can introduce you to the perfect, white smile you’ve always dreamed about. Visit or contact us to set an appointment. Your brightest smile is just a consult away.