Did you know that teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic dental procedure performed by dentists? People are spending $1.4 billion a year on average for white teeth, and the process is growing in popularity each year. As you can see, the trend of transforming yellow teeth into sparkling white teeth is not just a passing fad!
Given its popularity, questions about tooth whitening still remain — just how white is too white and how white should you go?
How Teeth Shades Work
To figure out which shade is right for your teeth, it’s important to know how teeth shades work. The color of your teeth is comprised of three different values – hue, chroma, and value. Hue is the existing tone of the teeth and can usually be separated into gray, yellow, reddish gray, or brown groupings. Chroma measures the intensity of the hue, while the value is the amount of black or white in a tooth. According to the American Dental Association, the people who see the most success with teeth whitening are those who have a yellowish hue. Unfortunately, those with a gray hue have the least success with bleaching. Before beginning the whitening process, you have to identify where your teeth fall on a shade guide.
Should You Bleach to the Brightest Tone?
While you may be tempted to try and bleach your teeth to the brightest tone in the shade guide, we highly suggest that you resist the urge. For most people, simply brightening up their smile by two to three shades creates a great improvement.
Martin Zase, president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, recommends that people should try to obtain a tooth color that matches the whites of their eyes. This helps create a natural look that doesn’t throw off the balance of your face.
Additionally, it’s important to consider your age and gender. As people get older, their teeth naturally darken. Therefore, it might be strange to see a middle-aged person with a pure white smile.
What Happens if You Overbleach?
While your teeth won’t fall out if you bleach them too much, it doesn’t mean you should do it too frequently. Those who overbleach often have an increased likelihood of decay, and overbleaching can cause side effects, such as temporary tooth sensitivity and pain. You’ll know when it’s time to stop bleaching when your teeth become bluish-white, as this means they have reached their maximum potential.
Teeth whitening can produce great results for most people that help them improve their appearance and self-esteem. If you’re ready to begin your whitening journey, there is no time like the present!
Learn more about Zoom! In-office Teeth Whitening
At Columbia Pike Family Dentistry in Arlington VA, we recommend Zoom! in-office tooth whitening. You relax comfortably in the dental chair while a trained technician applies the Zoom! deep-bleaching gel. As you listen to music or watch a movie, a special light, focused directly on your teeth, activates the gel. It penetrates deeply, breaking up even tough stains and discoloration. The hygienist reapplies the gel every 15 minutes for three cycles, so a full treatment takes only about an hour. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer or to schedule a consultation.