The cosmetic tooth bleaching industry is booming. Data show that the industry is growing at a compound annual rate of 7.69 percent, and will be worth $6.62 million by 2021.
And it is small wonder; bright, radiant smiles dominate both TV and social media. People tend to prefer healthy pearly whites than those discolored by trauma or age.
Fortunately, there are several ways for you to achieve a brighter smile. Opting for cosmetic dental services, for instance, is a great way to enhance the beauty of your pearly whites. You can also find teeth whitening products outside the dental office.
But some describe the tooth product aisle as the “dental aisle of confusion.” One walk down the aisle of a pharmacy or a grocery store, and you’ll see an array of teeth whitening products. These items range from toothpaste to paint-on bleach.
With the endless supply of dental whitening products available on the market, how do you know where to start?
OTC Whitening Products Not Subject to FDA Approval
Over-the-counter tooth whitening products do not require approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Why? These products are deemed cosmetic, which means they do not go through an evaluation from the FDA. The regulatory body, however, exerts a level of oversight on such products.
For starters, OTC teeth whitening products can’t be misbranded; they can’t use color additives that have not been approved. And they can’t be adulterated.
Trusting the ADA Seal of Acceptance
The American Dental Association (ADA), on the other hand, offers a solution on how you can select a bleaching product. As long as an item contains the ADA seal of acceptance, then consumers can trust its quality.
A product with the ADA seal shows that it went through an independent review from a panel of dentists that evaluated the safety and efficacy of the product.
A majority of toothpaste available in the market carry the ADA seal of acceptance.
Dental Bleaching Provides Quick, Efficient Results
But some over-the-counter products without the ADA seal are effective so long as you use them correctly. Failing to use these products carefully could cause them to spill onto the gums, for instance, potentially resulting in inflammation.
A safer option would be to buy custom-made trays from your dentist instead. Unlike one-size-fits-all trays available in the market, a dentist can come up with dental trays that fit your needs.
These at-home whitening procedures are appealing to more Americans since a recent survey shows that three-quarters of people consider having shiny, white teeth important.
Tooth Discoloration: A Sign of Dental Problems?
Before purchasing teeth whitening products, however, visiting the dentist is essential. In some cases, tooth discoloration could be a sign of a serious dental problem.
Some surface stains are the result of excessive consumption of dark-colored liquids and food with vibrant spices. Bleaching these stains away are possible through regular brushing, flossing, and scheduled professional cleanings.
Deeper stains, on the other hand, can result from aging and years of chewing. In turn, this could create tiny cracks in the outer enamel, which could fill up with stains. On top of that, the thinning enamel could expose the yellow core of the tooth and make it more visible.
Any type of bleaching requires constant maintenance. Since teeth naturally discolor over time, you need to take a more proactive approach to your dental health.