Trust a mall kiosk to your calendar, sunglasses, or holiday fruitcake needs, but don’t trust a mall kiosk with your smile.
The American Dental Association has been monitoring a troubling trend; whitening booths in shopping centers, spas, even cruise ships.
The color of our teeth is so linked to our overall appearance that 96 percent of us equate pearly whites with sex appeal. Therefore, it’s not surprising you see whitening treatments lumped in with makeup, tanning, or hair salon services.
Typically, when you leave the salon the worst you end up with is a cut to “grow into.” However, if you leave your teeth to the pop-up shop and not a professional dental team, you may end up in our chair anyway — for emergency care to address damage done at the whitening booth.
Understand what you’re asking for
“Whitening” restores your teeth to their natural color and is effective on surface stains, commonly caused by smoking and consuming coffee, blueberries, and dark sodas. What stains your carpet can stain your teeth.
“Bleaching” technically applies to techniques that lighten beyond your natural color by applying a hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching agent to remove deep stains frequently caused by excess fluoride, antibiotics, trauma, and aging.
Three key types of whitening include:
- In-office, professional applications
- Dentist-prescribed trays for home use
- Over-the-counter products
OTC solutions contain 3 to 15 percent peroxide (the active bleaching agent). Office treatments use 15 to 38 percent hydrogen peroxide concentrations, presenting an ultra-fast option in one hour or one visit.
While our at-home kits may have a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide, professional oversight represents an undeniable difference.
At Big Smile Dental, a whitening tray is custom-fitted to your mouth so it won’t irritate your gums, and bleaching agents are applied precisely.
Before we get to that point, we clean and assess the condition of your teeth. If we find some of the following characteristics, you may not be a good candidate for bleaching:
- Gray stains
- Very deep discoloration, which could be a sign of an underlying condition
- Multiple restorations (they won’t whiten)
- TMJ or teeth grinding, which can be made worse by trays
- Chips, gaps and other problems aside from stains (consider veneers instead)
Have you seen whitening booths popping up in Chicagoland in the past few years? Unlike trained dental personnel, these staff members are not licensed to do the exams and screening necessary to whiten teeth safely and effectively. The ADA frequently refers to teeth and tissue damage should low quality solutions be applied to teeth, or whitening agents be applied improperly to individuals with some of the conditions mentioned above.
Our staff is trained to match you with the widest array of teeth whitening options in Chicago. Call (773) 772-8400 to get a step closer to a brighter smile, no worries attached.