When it comes to white teeth, Americans rank high among those who will try almost anything to achieve the perfect smile. This includes both over the counter and in-office dental procedures.
A study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, found that a smile is one of the most desirable qualities for most Americans.
It adds to attractiveness, confidence and saleability.
The list included straightness of teeth, a sparkling smile, and whiteness and color of teeth.
The desire to possess white teeth is inextricably linked to a "Hollywood Smile." Whether we want to remove stains from smoking or hide wine and various food and drink stains, we turn to various methods of teeth whitening.
It is all entangled in the mystique behind the perception of the ideal smile. Yet, no matter how we decide to achieve it, the most popular methods involve a common technique – bleaching
Bleaching or whitening is one of the most common types of dental treatments.
Whether over-the-counter (OTC) or in a dental office, the material utilized is similar if not identical.
The process involves the application of a peroxide-based material. This is to whiten the teeth.
The active ingredients tend to be hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. What varies is the strength.
In dental procedures done in office or prepared by a dentist for in-home treatments, the concentration of the active substance can be as high as 35%.
The use of laser teeth whitening techniques also increases the availability and ability of the substance to whiten faster and thoroughly.
In general, in home usage OTC, the active materials are substantially lower. In fact, they may only be as high as 6%.
The period required to achieve the effect is also longer. While teeth whitening gel combined with laser technology results in immediate whitening, simple whitening strips take longer.
Most OTC methods require several days before any improvement is apparent.
The market place offers several different types of OTC teeth whitening products. These include:
Whatever method you decide to use, make sure you follow the guidelines correctly. This makes sure the products are safe and effective.
While OTC products abound, research by D. Thosre and S. Mulay printed in a 2009 edition of the J Conservative Dentistry indicates, "dentist-supervised treatments remain the recommended procedures for lightening discolored teeth."
In the end, it is a personal choice. While cost may enter the matter, it is up to each of us to decide whether a professional dentist is best.
We all want to have a pleasant smile. Sometimes our eating and drinking habits interfere with achieving this goal. Stained teeth from smoking may prevent us having that bright, white smile. Fortunately, we can purchase OTC teeth whitening products to reach our goal. While dental procedures are often favored, OTC products such as whitening strips or teeth whitening kits offer us an alternative.
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