White teeth are becoming more and more in-demand in our society. We can all see celebrities and tv-ads with people sporting flawless, white teeth, not to mention the commercials aimed at teeth-whitening products. With the idea of an attractive smile being a white smile, it is no wonder that the teeth whitening industry was worth about 2 billion dollars in 2010 alone. There are many wholesale teeth whitening companies and retailers that sell a wide variety of products said to help whiten teeth.
So, how do our teeth get to the point where we think they should be whitened and begin looking for products that will help? Well, as we age our teeth are subject to any number of uses and incidents that can affect the enamel (such as chewing, trauma or acid attacks caused by sugar) and create small cracks that can house stains from drink such as wine or coffee, and some foods. These stains can be hard to get rid of. Our tooth enamel also naturally becomes more transparent as we age, allowing the natural yellow color of the dentin layer on the inside of our teeth to show through. Paired with the fact that as children our primary teeth are naturally whiter, our perception that our teeth become less white is wholly correct.
Other than the surface stains (aka extrinsic stains), the color of teeth can also be affected by the mineral content of our diet, and substances such as fluoride (which can create ‘white mottling’ if taken in too high concentrations) and tetracycline (an antibiotic that can cause dark grey or brown ribbon stains if taken during tooth formation). These types of stains are called intrinsic stains as they affect the dentin layer on the inside of the tooth rather than the surface enamel. Intrinsic stains are the most difficult to overcome.
In the teeth whitening industry there are actually two separate methods for whitening teeth. Removing dirt and debris from the surface of the teeth is the method that can technically be called ‘whitening’ and this category includes toothpastes and mouthwashes, while bleaching the teeth using gels, strips, or dentist techniques would more appropriately be called ‘bleaching’.
Bleaching methods generally use some concentration of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent. When whitening, it is best to keep in mind that it is easier to whiten younger teeth as they have less of a buildup of stains. Also, teeth that have a naturally grey tint rather than yellow often prove more difficult to attain the white smile that many desire.
No whitening system, whether you pay $700 at the dentist’s office, or $20 for a low-end OTC option, is ever permanent. With dark liquids, tobacco, and normal everyday use teeth will begin to lose their white shine. Wholesale teeth whitening companies as well as retailers will see repeat business because of the need for these touch ups. Those who make clear to their customers that there is no permanent solution will likely see the most customer loyalty as their customers will expect the results to be temporary and not become disillusioned about a product because of this fact.