Standards of beauty might evolve over time, but a bright smile never goes out of fashion. Nowadays, TV and social media are saturated with images of young women with perfectly luminous teeth. A recent study out of the UK claims, “Teeth are the human equivalent of a peacock’s tail, a sign of health and genetic quality designed to help choose a mate.”

“It’s no wonder more and more female patients are calling our practice to ask about in-office teeth whitening,” said Dr. Matthew Parr, D.D.S. and owner of Surf City Dental. “It’s not that men aren’t concerned about whitening too, I just think advertisers target women a whole lot more.”

With so many whitening products on the market, how do you pick one that’s right for you? The first thing you need to know is this: Stains on teeth are classified as either extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on the surface of your teeth. Intrinsic stains exist between tiny cracks in the enamel and deep inside the dentin.

Whitening primarily refers to the removal of extrinsic stains from the tooth. Whitening products only remove surface stains, but bleaching treatment changes the internal color of the tooth and typically provides more dramatic results.

“It’s normal for teeth to yellow with age. Coffee, red wine, and even some antibiotics can also discolor teeth,” Dr. Parr said. “To tackle these stains or dullness, we rely on Opalescence Teeth Whitening. It’s a fantastic choice for those who want to see immediate results that’ll last a long time. Plus, the process only takes about an hour.”

There also are over-the-counter treatments, like whitening strips and gel trays. These can be a good option if stains are extrinsic. However, you should have healthy gums and unrestored teeth – no fillings, crowns, veneers, etc.

At Surf City Dental, we offer an at-home tray system, with whitening gel that comes in strengths of 16% and 32% carbamide peroxide.

If you’re looking for ways to a brighter smile, our Surf City Dental team can most definitely guide you with a consult on the best treatment options.

“It’s not just about teeth looking good,” said Dr. Parr. “We’ve seen whitening really help boost patients’ personal views of themselves. It certainly can be a confidence builder, and we’re proud to help them get there.”