Unknown to many, teeth whitening has now become a multi-billion-dollar business, with a total revenue reaching $11 billion. People spend also up to $1.4 billion on teeth whitening products, which is why it has become the second largest beauty industry (non-surgical) following makeup.
This represents a current obsession with perfect teeth and a perfect smile and dental clinics in the country have also reported it as the most requested procedure by their patients. Part of the reason for its growth is the variety of products that are out there, from over-the-counter gels to be used at home to in-clinic procedures. Another huge part of the industry is whitening toothpaste, which is undoubtedly popular because it is everywhere and it is so easy to use.
The growth is predicted to continue because having a perfect smile is not just for looking good, but it will also bring social approval and other benefits. This is one of the reasons why even patients without significant discoloration will still use whitening toothpaste, in the belief that it will make their teeth appear whiter and shinier. It is also the perfect way to counter the consumption of teeth staining products like liquor, tobacco, and coffee.
Further research and development of teeth whitening products receive a lot of budget, partly because of the huge demand and also to continue to provide effective ways to make teeth look perfect. For now, read this post here to find the different ways to address teeth discoloration and staining.
Lots of websites offer DIY methods to whiten teeth, many using natural ingredients. However, this is not a recommended route to take, because teeth enamel is at risk of being damaged irrevocably. Simply put, the risk is not worth it.
There is not enough research to say which of these natural ingredients are safe and worse, some ingredients like activated charcoal are very abrasive to the teeth and will remove enamel eventually. Others are quite acidic, which is also dangerous to enamel because it can be erosive. It will also allow bacteria to grow and cause cavities.
The good news is, companies are now researching natural teeth whitening products and in a few years they might become available in the market. These will, in comparison, be proven effective and safe.
These products are generally safe, mostly because they do not contain strong bleaching ingredients, making it also good for daily use. Consumers should make sure, however, to buy only those that have a Seal of Approval from the American Dental Association.
This kind of toothpaste will prevent additional staining, especially if used after consuming teeth-staining products. However, it is important to use only the recommended amount and not to brush too hard that it will damage tooth enamel. Moreover, if your teeth are badly decayed, if they are quite sensitive, or if your roots are exposed, then this toothpaste should not be used.
Over-The-Counter Whitening Products
These products, which include whitening strips and gels, have the same active ingredient as the products used by your dentist. They use chemicals, specifically hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, that have been scientifically proven to effectively bleach teeth and make them at least a couple of shades lighter (depending on the strength of the bleaching ingredient). These ingredients penetrate the enamel’s surface to oxidize the pigmented molecules and break them down.
Compared to professional teeth whitening products, these over-the-counter ones have a lower concentration of the bleaching ingredients and they also differ in the way they are applied. They normally include preformed trays or gel-coated strips that will be stuck to teeth.
- Professional Teeth Whitening For the best and most effective way, you should go to your dentist for professional teeth whitening. As mentioned above, they will use the same products but ones that are stronger and will be able to lighten teeth a few shades. Instead of using a preformed tray, they will use a custom-fit one. Some dentists will also combine in-clinic and at-home products, meaning in addition to what they apply at the clinic, patients will receive some gel to be used at home.
Important Points About Teeth Whitening
It is vital that patients understand the limitations of these products, specifically that only natural teeth can be bleached or whitened. Moreover, the results are not permanent and as you continue to consume teeth-staining products, your teeth will slowly darken again. Lastly, these procedures may make teeth sensitive. Still, the benefits will definitely make it worthwhile, especially when you start flashing your beautiful white smile.