Did you know that teeth whitening is the number one cosmetic procedure in the US today? There are many different options available, ranging from inexpensive over the counter products available at drug stores to high end in office whitening.
So how do you know what option is right for you?
The first step is to visit your dentist and have your gums evaluated. Studies have shown that 1 in 3 adult Americans suffer from periodontal disease. Whitening solution can potentially aggravate untreated periodontal disease. Your dentist can help you determine what steps are needed to help you get your gums healthy before you begin whitening.
Next, do you use an over the counter brand, such as Crest strips? Or do you use custom take home trays from your dentist? Or do you opt for in-office whitening? Here's the scoop:
Over the Counter Whitening: The FDA mandates that over the counter products can only have a certain percentage of active ingredient. So, what you are buying in the store is significantly weaker than what you receive from a dentist's office.
Custom Take Home Whitening: The trays are available from your dental office. They will take impressions of your teeth and create custom trays to fit them. They dispense whitening gel that has a much higher concentration of active ingredient. Based on your individual situation, they can help you achieve custom results based on your sensitivity levels, diet and shade choice. Maximum results are achieved in 12 to 14 days.
In Office Whitening: This is the strongest whitening on the market. There are many different options, such as ZOOM, Boost and Sapphire. These whitening options use the highest amount of active ingredient, usually in conjunction with UV lights. Results are immediate.
So, what shade should you aim for? Here are some pointers:
-If you have darker skin, aim for a more subtle tooth shade. The contrast between darker skin and the whiteness of the teeth can be striking. Choosing a more subtle tooth shade will minimize the contrast and yield more natural looking results.
-If you have light skin, aim for a lighter shade. Stained teeth will look even darker next to lighter skin.
- A good match for the shade of teeth is the white of the eye. It is your body's natural shade guide and guaranteed to work with your skin tone.
For a complimentary whitening consultation, please call our Dunedin Dental office at 727.733.1175 or visit us on the web at www.allaboutsmiles.org.