Teeth whitening is a procedure that lightens the natural colour of your teeth, making them more aesthetically pleasing. It’s becoming increasingly popular, with $11 billion being made annually by the industry (source).When you consider that 32% of people have claimed to be ‘concerned with the look of their teeth’ and that 18% of people conceal their teeth in photographs, you can see the effect that stained teeth can have on your state of mind.
There are many reasons why you might want to whiten your teeth – maybe the colour of them has been damaged by smoking, maybe a heath condition has led to a yellowed effect, or maybe you would just have a lot more confidence if they weren’t so stained. Whatever your reasons, you need to really consider whether you do this via a professional or by yourself at home.
There are pros and cons to both options, which will be looked at here:
Ease – rises, toothpastes, and strips can be done very easily in the privacy of your own home. They are made to be simple and easy to use, putting you firmly in control of the procedure.
- Price – at home treatments are likely to be much cheaper if you are doing the leg work yourself, so if you have a tight budget, it might be worth considering. The average price of an at home treatment is $34.99, whereas a dental procedure can average at $600.
- Time – they are often very quick to complete, averaging between 15 minutes and an hour, over a span of a few weeks.
At The Dentist:
Safety – everything that happens at the dentists will be much safer. All the teeth whitening equipment will have been tested by the professionals, plus your teeth will be examined to check that you are able to withstand the treatment.
- Product – not all home whitening kits contain enough of the right products to actually be effective, whereas what you will get at the dentist will be a lot better.
- Professional – you will have someone there who knows exactly what they are doing to explain everything to you. Sometimes it can give you peace of mind to have someone who knows what they are doing looking after you.
If you are pregnant, breast feeding, or suffer from gum problems, then you should avoid teeth whitening completely, but whatever the case it is always advisable to get an expert opinion from a medical professional before proceeding – especially if you would like to have the potential side effects explained to you. Some people have experienced more sensitive teeth afterwards, so it’s best to be in the know before you begin.
It’s also important to remember that no procedure is permanent, whichever method you take, with the best ones lasting up to three years. Smoking, drinking red wine, or tea and coffee can all shorten the life of you whiter teeth – so if you aren’t in a position to do it too regularly, you really need to look after your dental hygiene.