Survey finds many favor professional teeth whitening
Article Thumbnail ImageSeptember 27, 2011 -- Philips, the makers of Sonicare power toothbrushes and Zoom whitening, has launched a new educational campaign called Get It Right that encourages people to engage a dental professional in the teeth-whitening process to ensure a healthy smile worthy of a great first impression.
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A recent telephone survey, conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Philips as part of the Get It Right campaign, found that 89% of those polled feel that a bright or white smile makes a good first impression, and 55% believe a person's smile is the best physical indicator of someone's friendliness. The survey, conducted August 5 to 7, also found that 53% of respondents say if they could enhance one thing about their smile it would be the whiteness of their teeth, rather than the straightness of their teeth or any other cosmetic feature.

The survey, which included 1,006 U.S. adults age 18 and older, also revealed that only 20% of those polled have had their teeth whitened by in-office treatments, despite the fact that 77% feel a white smile is best achieved by seeing a dental professional. In addition, 57% do not believe over-the-counter (OTC) products are as effective as professional teeth whitening, and 29% do not believe OTC products work at all.

"Teeth need care and attention like any other part of the body, and teeth whitening could play an important role in teeth maintenance," stated Bill Dorfman, DDS, one of the creators of Zoom whitening, in a press release. "However, many factors must be considered when whitening a smile, such as teeth sensitivity or a medical condition. No one knows more about oral health than a dental professional who can help advise patients about whitening options, including professional treatments, to ensure safe results for an optimal smile."

With the Get It Right campaign, the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) emphasizes the importance of speaking with a dental professional to get advice on the best whitening option.

"Questions about whitening come up during dental hygiene appointments every day, and, too often, patients may not be informed about all of their options," said ADHA President Pamela Quinones, RDH. "Consulting a dental professional from the beginning before a patient starts any whitening treatment and having them remain involved throughout the whitening process can ensure that the patient is receiving the treatment that is right for his or her situation."