Tooth whitening

What is tooth whitening?

Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Most dentists perform tooth whitening. Whitening is not a one-time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter colour.

Tooth whitening is a chemical process. Tooth whitening is done by using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals release free radical oxygen when activated. The radical oxygen then whitens pigments penetrated into superficial layers of the teeth. Tooth whitening is a professional job which can only be prescribed and carried out by the dentist. Dentists are the only people who can assess your suitability for tooth whitening.There has been a recent rise in illegal practice of tooth whitening by hair dressers and beauticians in recent years. General Dental Council (the governing body of dental professionals) is trying to raise awareness about this issue and has prosecuted successfully many perpetrators.  

The social Impact of Tooth Whitening

The results of a study conducted by an independent research firm provide new evidence that a beautiful white smile has a direct effect on successful interpersonal interactions, both socially and professionally.

"The Impact of Whiter Teeth on Key First Impressions" study, commissioned by Crest Whitestrips, shows that a whiter smile substantially affects how others think of you when you first meet.

According to the study, which included simulated job interviews, simulated first dates and a quantitative online survey; more than half of the study participants were more likely to be hired (58%) and received larger salary offers (53%) after their teeth had been whitened.

The study also found that evaluators expressed a greater interest in continuing their interaction or "date" with more than half of the study participants (54%) after their teeth had been whitened. "This study provides some of the first findings that speak to the powerful benefits of having a whiter smile," says Dr. Dacher Keltner, smile psychologist and Professor of Psychology at University of California at Berkeley. "Visible from 200 feet, it is the intense focus of what other people look at, and a sign of our warmth, confidence, and health." During the simulated job interviews, it was also found that a majority of the study participants were viewed to be more professional (65%) and more confident (61%) after their teeth had been whitened. And, on their simulated first dates, more than half of study participants were viewed to be more outgoing (59%) after their teeth had been whitened. The third part of the study, a quantitative online survey of 1,006 people, was consistent with the first two studies conducted, finding that individuals with whiter teeth have more positive attributes than individuals with stained teeth across the following variables: financial success, trustworthiness and professional success. Regardless of gender,age, income, education, employment or martial status, participants came to the same conclusion. Additionally, participants were asked about the importance of personal appearance.

Across the board, the majority agrees a person's appearance is an indication of their:

• Professional success (68%)

• Financial success (64%)

• Trustworthiness (52%)

"White teeth clearly extend far beyond just our smiles," says Sunny Jain, Brand Manager for Crest Whitestrips. "We've provided whiter smiles to more than 30 million people and are thrilled the results of this study affirm their positive affect on social and professional situations."

Source Procter & Gamble, with thanks to Kelton Research

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