Having a bright white smile is thought to be the highest standard in oral health - and it leaves many people longing. While white teeth do not always equate to a healthy mouth, there is something to be said about the benefits of a beautiful, bright smile.
Tooth discoloration and staining occur for many different reasons. This leads many people on a quest for teeth whitening solutions. From professional teeth whitening systems to those you buy over the counter, there are a lot of options to choose from. One of the most popular is teeth whitening strips. But the question is, do they work?
Effectiveness of Teeth Whitening Strips
In a nutshell, yes, teeth whitening strips work. The American Dental Association (ADA) even considers them an effective way to whiten teeth. They are low-cost and easily accessible which makes them ideal for many people.
Most teeth whitening strips are designed using soft plastic that holds a whitening gel made of either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. The plastic is folded up against your teeth allowing the whitening gel to mingle with the enamel of your teeth. This is repeated daily for up to three weeks or so, depending on the particular brand.
With the diligent application of these strips, this method of teeth whitening can be effective.
Potential Risks With Teeth Whitening Strips
It is most definitely worth noting that there are a few potential risks with teeth whitening strips that you should be aware of before you spend your money.
Because you are placing the whitening gel in the plastic and folding it on your teeth, there is no way to ensure an even application. That means there is a good chance you may end up not properly covering your teeth, leaving you with white teeth with yellow, stained edges.
With whitening strips, you are placing a harsh chemical up against your teeth - and it will inevitably touch your gums. This can cause irritation and harm to the soft tissue.
Dangers of Overuse
Teeth whitening strips can be bought at local stores and used at any time. Unfortunately, this can lead to the overuse of the product - and lead to potential dangers. Excessive use can lead to the erosion of the tooth’s enamel and increase the risk of tooth sensitivity as well as permanent damage to the tooth.
If you decide to use whitening strips, always follow the directions.
Safer Teeth Whitening Options
When it comes to teeth whitening, seeking professional options such as teeth whitening in your dentist's office or veneers may yield the best results.
Professional teeth whitening treatments at the dentist have the ability to whiten teeth 7 to 8 shades whiter in just about an hour. They are done under the supervision of an experienced dental team with your gums well protected. This works beautifully to evenly whiten teeth and remove deeper stains.
Another option to gain a bright white smile is by investing in veneers. A thin shell of either porcelain or composite resin will be bonded to the front of the tooth giving it a beautiful appearance. Veneers hide any visible imperfections - including discolorations. The best part is that going this route with your prosthodontist means not having to worry about getting your teeth whitened for quite some time. After all, veneers last for years.
Learn More About Teeth Whitening Options
If you are interested in learning more about safe teeth whitening options, Stuart Prosthetic Dentistry can help.