If you’ve been considering adding more cosmetic treatments into your beauty routine, you’re not alone. It’s normal to want to look your best, and even simple enhancements like whitening teeth can help improve appearances.
Just like how your hair can shift to gray as you get older, your teeth will also start to show your age because they begin to yellow over time. This is why whitening teeth is said to help reverse the appearance of aging. In a survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontics, a whopping 90% of participants have opted-in for some form of teeth-whitening treatment.
While it’s a popular choice, professional teeth whitening can come at a price as it’s considered a cosmetic dental procedure, meaning it’s not deemed medically necessary by your insurance company. As such, the cost for those services are often not covered under most dental plans. Luckily, when it comes to easy, inexpensive ways to practice self-care, at-home treatment options top the list for many.
Read on to find out how you can brighten your teeth and prevent future stains from developing.
How your teeth change with age
Changes in your teeth occur naturally over time, and it’s not always an indication of how you’ve cared for your oral health. Teeth can even become dingier in appearance because, as we brush through the years, a deeper layer of enamel called dentin is exposed. Dentin is more yellow in color than the outermost layer of your tooth, which accounts for the change in shade over time as more regular brushing wears them down.
Normal activity such as eating and drinking can dull the brightness of your smile over time as well, with acidic items like citrus, wine, and coffee being top culprits. One major way to keep your teeth bright and healthy is preventive care. It may be hard to give up some of your favorite beverages, but the long-term effects may outweigh the sacrifice if your goal is a whiter smile.
At-home teeth whitening methods
Most reliable methods of teeth whitening are offered at your nearest drug store. There’s virtually no way to discuss any oral health without emphasizing the importance of brushing your teeth the recommended two times a day. The kind of toothpaste you use matters, and a whitening brand can give your brush sessions a boost. Did you know brushing your teeth with a bit of baking soda can also work wonders in adding a bit of sparkle to your morning and night routine? Give it a try and see how the shades whiten over the course of just a few weeks!
Whitening strips are another great way to achieve professional-looking brightening results. Even at a rate of about $25 to $100, some DIY treatments are worth the splurge as compared to the cost of professional whitening treatments. However, the ADA does advise that teeth whitening treatments be conducted with the care and supervision of your dental practitioner.
Professional whitening can be accomplished with gel in trays or via a laser and can be done in about an hour in the dentist’s chair. The trays used during treatment must be customized for best results, and the cost ranges from about $300 to $400. Laser options may also cost about $500. Your dentist can also create a customized take-home whitening tray, made right in the office.
Call your dentist for more information about the cost of whitening treatment and what professional options may be available to you. It’s important to note that Delta Dental plans do not cover cosmetic oral care procedures, with whitening being one of the treatments not paid for by our plans.
If professional whitening treatment sounds expensive, don’t fret. Your regular dental cleanings every six months, which are usually covered under your Delta Dental plan, can serve as effective stain removal sessions for simple stains like coffee.
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