Tooth Whitening Spend Breaks $1 Billion in U.S.

The people of the United States of America are going to great lengths to get their pearly whites as pearly and white as they can be. In 2012, the people of this country spent over $1.4 billion dollars on teeth whitening treatments. Strips, gels, bleaches, and more, people are dropping their hard earned money in an attempt to get their smile as bright and white as it can be. What are we spending our money on?

Whitening Toothpastes

Any toothpaste can remove the stains on the outer surface of your teeth, but whitening toothpastes contain additional chemical agents that can help with the effectiveness of that stain removal. Whitening toothpastes can help brighten your smile, but not by much, only making your teeth about one shade lighter at best.

Whitening Rinses

These rinses are like a typical mouthwash, but they also contain hydrogen peroxide to help whiten teeth. They are also used in the same manner as a mouthwash, swished around in the mouth for about sixty seconds after brushing. Like the whitening toothpastes, these can help whiten teeth, but not much.

Whitening Strips and Gels

These strips and gels contain hydrogen peroxide based treatments that bond directly to the surface of the teeth. They generally require a two week treatment, lightening the teeth several shades for a few months until normal eating and drinking habits stain the teeth again.

Tray Whiteners

Tray based tooth whitening systems work like the gel or strip varieties, only the whitening agent is applied to tray that resembles a mouth guard that is worn for a recommended period of time. That can be for just thirty minutes per day or even overnight.

In Office Whitening

The fastest and most reliable way to whiten your teeth is to let your dentist handle it. At the office, they can apply a whitening agent directly to your teeth, which will be used in combination with heat, a specialized light source, or even lasers. Unlike any of the other methods, results from a professional whitening treatment can be seen after one session.

Despite all the fervor behind teeth whitening, there is such a thing as too white. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry recommends that your teeth be no whiter than the whites of your eyes for maximum aesthetic appeal.