Everyone wants whiter teeth. But the U.S. Supreme Court may soon be ruling on exactly who is allowed to help you get those pearly whites even pearlier.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused the North Carolina Dental Regulatory Board of unfair business practices when the board attempted to shut down any non-dental business that also offered teeth whitening services (such as tanning booths and day spas). In 2011, the board sued the FTC, claiming they overstepped their authority.
A Virginia federal appeals court backed the FTC, the N.C. board challenged their ruling, and the case is now on its way to the highest court in the land for review.
But given the chemicals involved in teeth whitening, does the board have a valid point? And what might a ruling in their favor mean for the over-the-counter teeth whitening industry, which in 2011 was worth $1.4 billion dollars?
But even without the question of safety, what about the overall effectiveness of OTC whitening products versus a whitening procedure performed by a trained dental professional?
One obvious advantage of professional whitening over at-home whitening is the amount of time needed per session. At-home kits can take days or even weeks to show results, whereas in-office procedures can have more immediate results.
“Over-the-counter white-strips are low-peroxide materials. The delivery system is inefficient as the strip is diluted by saliva,” says David Richardson, DDS at Kirkland Dentistry. “Professional teeth whitening kits, or “take home kits,” are more effective because they utilize custom trays that keep the gel next to the teeth, undiluted.”
“Even after using over the counter white-strips, professional take-home kits will lighten teeth 3-4 shades,” continues Richardson. “While whitening will not damage your teeth, if you have exposed dentin or decay, the peroxide can prove to be quite uncomfortable. Any needed restoration and cleaning should be done first.”
Cosmetic dentists around the country will be eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision. Until then, if you’re looking to whiten and brighten your smile, weigh your options carefully.
The teeth whitening process can improve your dental and overall appearance. However, there are some things to understand before you ask yourself, can I whiten my teeth naturally?
Different ways are available to brighten teeth naturally. Special toothpastes contain certain chemical or polishing agents that remove stains more effectively than regular dental products. Whitening strips and gels that contain peroxide are also available if you are wondering, can you get rid of yellow teeth? Rinses containing peroxide are among the newest products of the type and go beyond the mere cleansing ability of normal mouth rinse products. Of course, a professional procedure conducted by a dentist can be the most effective way of obtaining teeth that are white.
Teeth whitening is recommended for adults who do not have fillings or crowns. Additionally, the process is not permanent, especially for those who consume things that produce dental stains, including tea, wine and tobacco products. Some may ask, can you whiten sensitive teeth? Gels and special toothpastes are recommended in such cases. Additionally, those with sensitive teeth should brush before using the whitening product and rinse afterward. Consult with a dentist before considering any teeth whitening process.