Confused by the whole teeth whitening craze? As the simplest cosmetic dental treatment available, teeth whitening has gotten its fair share of attention. And the versatility of treatment make it a prime candidate for home use, boosting the number of home whitening kits on the market. If you’ve never tried whitening yourself, but have spent years being inundated with whitening advertising, you’re probably skeptical of the claims made.
Can teeth whitening really make that big of a difference? The short answer is: yes. Read on for a discussion of what makes so certain of this, and get some ideas about the changes whitening could bring to your own life.
Your enamel is porous; its surface is riddled with tiny holes. Every day, you eat and drink colored substances that contain staining molecules. When your teeth are exposed to these stains over time, they have a chance to lodge in the enamel’s pores and build up. This results in either patches of discoloration, or an entirely yellowed smile.
Teeth whitening applies a bleaching agent (usually hydrogen peroxide). Sometimes this bleaching agent is activated with a stimulating force like a light. Once the agent enters enamel’s pores and begins reacting with oxygen, it undergoes a chemical reaction. This breaks up the staining compounds, and eliminates them from your enamel.
Whitening only works on natural enamel. If your front teeth have veneers, bonding, or crowns over them, then the way to whiten is to replace that dental work with a lighter shade.
But, in the case of natural teeth, whitening delivers. You’ll see a whiter smile in place as soon as you leave the office. Of course, in-office whitening delivers more immediate results because the hydrogen peroxide used is a higher strength. If you’re whitening at home, it will take weeks to produce the same dramatic effect (and you may not reach the same level of brightness as you would with a professional-strength agent).
So, on a physical level, whitening makes a difference. What about the less tangible advantages of bleaching your teeth?
Your self confidence is directly related to your exterior. While appearance isn’t everything, it does count for quite a lot. When you feel like you don’t look your best, you won’t perform or interact in a self-assured way; and those around you will notice.
Once your smile is whiter, you’ll be more comfortable drawing attention to yourself. You’re more likely to feel at home taking charge, and you may even perform better at work. With brighter teeth in place, you’re able to tap into your most effective self.
While those you interact with will notice and react positively to your increased confidence, they’ll also react to your teeth themselves. Multiple surveys have shown respondents ranking the smile as the most important feature in establishing attractiveness. While you’re not trying to attract everyone you meet, you are trying to win them over – and teeth make a difference.
Whiter teeth also communicate a message of good health, and sound health is something that we’re all happy to align with. Your white teeth could actually pull people toward your side – in both professional and social interactions.
When all is said and done, there’s only one way to know for certain whether teeth whitening will change your life: to try it for yourself. With the low cost of treatment and the minimal commitment, there’s room for everyone to try it out. Schedule your whitening appointment with our Ithaca practice today.