Thinking About Teeth Whitening?
As a dentist in Victoria, we know how to whiten your teeth to dramatically increase your smile power… with convenience. That’s why more than ten million North Americans will get their teeth whitened this year. Did you know that teeth whitening is the #1 cosmetic service today and, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, its popularity continues to soar! Outside the dentist’s office, it’s every bit as popular. Americans spent more than $3.2 billion on over-the-counter teeth-whitening products in 2016! Read on to learn more about this popular smile treatment!
What is teeth whitening?
It is a procedure designed to remove stains and discoloration and lighten teeth pigmentation. As your dentist in Victoria, we will custom design the best method to whiten your teeth based on your unique needs. The materials in whitening kits contain different levels of carbamide peroxide… one of the safest chemicals on the market to whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening can be done safely, quickly, and reliably at Pacifica Dental.
The History Of Teeth Whitening
You might not realize it, but teeth whitening has been around for many centuries in some form or another. We’re glad we’ve abandoned the techniques of the past – it’s incredible the level of knowledge we have now compared to the beliefs of even just a few centuries ago.
- In about 4000 BC, the Egyptians whitened their teeth with a paste that was made from ground pumice stone and vinegar. Society, even then, thought that white teeth were beautiful. They also knew that they signified wealth as it was the higher-ranking people who favored the practice.
- Be glad you didn’t live in ancient Rome. Research shows us that they used ammonia-rich urine to bleach their teeth. Ammonia acts as a bleach due to its acid levels. The whitening effects likely weren’t that dramatic.
- In the 1600s, barbers provided care that would now be considered “dentistry.” Their focus was mostly on eliminating pain, e.g., extractions, but some provided whitening services. Their method was to file teeth down then apply nitric acid. It did whiten teeth but also encouraged dental decay.
- In the late 1800s, dentists who were treating gum disease with peroxide discovered that it was also effective at making teeth whiter.
- In 1918, dentists discovered that by directing a heatlamp onto the peroxide whitening product they were using, it sped up the teeth whitening process.
- In the 1960s, it was discovered that letting peroxide remain on the teeth for long periods increased the effectiveness of the whitening treatment.
- The dental tray filled with whitening gel with the active ingredient of carbamide peroxide came into play in 1989 – surprisingly recently.
- Today, not only in our practice but globally, teeth whitening is one of the most-requested dental treatments.
Are teeth whitening procedures safe?
Yes, whitening your teeth with us is safe. We’ll only use professional whitening agents so that we can be confident in their effectiveness as well as their safety.
If you choose to buy products over the counter, please note that these have significantly less active ingredient, which means it will likely take much more time to get results. The results are not guaranteed. Some of the over the counter options include whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, and whitening gels. Please discuss whitening methods with us before trying one that is not professionally prescribed. As your dentist in Victoria, we will recommend a treatment plan that best addresses your needs.
How white can I expect my teeth to look?
Whiteness depends on the degree of discoloration as well as many other factors (e.g. whether you choose to have professional whitening done, or you use an over-the-counter method) as well how your teeth respond to whitening. In general, your teeth can be whitened up to eight shades, but it takes a change of just two to three shades to make a noticeable difference.
Your own long-term results will be influenced on your eating and drinking habits (dark berries, coffee, tea, red wine, etc.). If you find it hard to completely eliminate these and other stain-causing choices from your diet, touch-up treatments at regular intervals will definitely be necessary. We’ll help you decide which treatment is the best one for your smile.
Is there a such thing as being too young or too old to get teeth whitening done?
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, teeth whitening has become the most-demanded cosmetic procedure for patients under twenty – an ideal smile booster to complement completing orthodontics and prom or graduation prep, however it is not recommended for children while their teeth are still developing. After childhood, age is not a consideration and most people, from teens to seniors, can benefit from teeth whitening.