According to a study conducted by OnePoll, 57% of Americans tend to cover their mouths when they laugh, owing to their insecurity over their teeth. Additionally, one in every two individuals is often seen keeping their mouth closed while smiling. Teeth whitening seems to be a beneficial choice for those individuals who are insecure about the color of their teeth. But, before you jump on the bandwagon, there are certain aspects that you should consider. Let's delve deep and understand the nuances of the most popular cosmetic dentistry trends.
Understanding Tooth Discoloration
For starters, it is crucial to understand that teeth could become discolored due to several reasons. There are two types of discoloration that one should be aware of. The first type, extrinsic discoloration, affects the outer layer of the teeth and could be a result of consuming food products, such as coffee, red wine, or even those with dyes. Tobacco is another significant contributor to extrinsic discoloration. On the other hand, intrinsic discoloration occurs due to stains occurring inside the tooth itself and could be a result of medication use, tooth trauma, or aging. Witening treatments can be useful in treating both extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. However, remember that only natural teeth can be treated, not tooth-colored restorations.
A Variety Of Whitening Methods
Now that we have covered the types of discoloration, let's discuss the different types of whitening methods. According to Healthline, there are three categories of whitening methods – products administered by a professional dentist, those dispensed by a dentist for at-home use, and those that one can get over the counter or even made at home without any supervision (such as whitening toothpaste, stripes, etc.). While OTC whitening products may work for some, professional treatments are more effective since they contain higher concentrations of active components that work more efficiently. Primarily, discussing the topic with a dental professional is essential to determine which type of whitening method is best suited for you.
While dentistry treatments like getting your teeth whitened by a professional or using OTC products are popular, many DIY methods have also gained traction and are hyped on social media. For instance, oil pulling or using activated charcoal are some popular trends that claim to whiten teeth. However, these methods' scientific efficacy is not yet proven, and one should be wary while trying them out. They may also cause harm if not executed correctly. Hence, it is necessary to ensure that the information you’re reading online about oral health is from a credible source written by healthcare professionals and dentists to avoid getting misinformed. This method will also give you a better idea of what to expect during dental consultations.
The Risks To Be Aware Of
Like with any dental procedure, teeth whitening has its share of risks too. The ADA points out that tooth sensitivity is a common adverse effect of over-the-counter or dentist-dispensed, tray-based whitening but is typically mild and transient. Other possible side effects of teeth whitening, as mentioned by the Dental Health Society, include gingival irritation, sensitivity, and gum irritation. Misuse or overuse of whitening trays and strips can cause tooth decay and damage nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissues of the tooth. Additionally, peroxide-based gels found in strips or gel-based products could also damage the gum cells. These are the crucial aspects one should keep in mind before deciding to undergo this procedure.
In conclusion, a sparkling white smile is desired by many individuals. The benefits of teeth whitening treatments, such as increased accessibility via at-home options, have made it popular in the dentistry world. But, it is essential to understand that there are a variety of whitening options available out there, and it's always better to assess their effects thoroughly before jumping in.