MT. KISCO, N.Y. - Gorgeous smiles are perhaps the most coveted accessory and local family dentist Kelly Kochan said she has seen firsthand how popular a sparkling smile has become.
"The demand for teeth whitening has jumped substantially from 10 years ago, she said. People are being influenced now, more than ever, by celebrities and peers. People see white teeth and compare them to their own.
Teeth whitening has become big business in this country. In 2010 alone, profits related to personal dental care in the U.S. totaled $1.6 billion, according to a report published by iData Research. And with price points for cosmetic teeth whitening ranging from $5 to $500, almost everyone can afford a whiter smile.
Getting a whiter smile is so much easier today, in the past patients had to get veneers, which is more costly and more involved, said Kochan. People 10 years ago just were not as concerned about their teeth shade. It wasn't as in vogue as it is today.
According to WebMD, the active ingredient that works to whiten your smile is "typically carbamide peroxide in various concentrationsoften 10 percent to 20 percent." Some do-it-yourself teeth whitening products even bear the American Dental Association seal of approval. However, some people experience extreme discomfort and sensitivity as a direct result of exposure to the peroxide used to remove stains.
I always tell patients to try the over-the-counter teeth whitening kits before they commit to a professional whitening regimen because while the over-the-counter kits aren't as strong, they often lighten teeth enough to satisfy patients, said Kochan.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.