Are you embarrassed to smile because your teeth look yellow and dull? Many people are self conscious of their teeth due to discoloration that has occurred over the years. This had led to a boom in the cosmetic dentistry area of teeth whitening. Americans spend over a billion dollars each year on over-the-counter whitening products, which doesn’t even count the people who seek whiter teeth through professional treatment.
It is likely that you have heard two terms related to brightening your smile: teeth bleaching and teeth whitening. Are these the same thing? Although their goals are similar, these terms refer to different processes for whitening your teeth.
The FDA requires that the word “bleaching” be used only in cases where the teeth are able to be whitened more than their natural color. This occurs only with products containing bleach, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
“Whitening” is the term used when the surface color of a tooth is restored by removing debris and dirt. For example, a cleaning product such as toothpaste is considered a whitening product instead of bleaching.
Which one is better?
Teeth whitening is a subjective procedure, meaning that it varies with each person. Before deciding how to brighten your smile, consult with your dentist to get a realistic idea of potential results for your teeth. That way you can choose the best process for you personally, and set your expectations about how long it might take and how your teeth may appear when complete. Whether you choose to bleach them or whiten them, it is likely that you will be dazzling your friends with your new, improved smile!
Our dental office is located in Richmond