As Whitening Industry Booms, Americans’ Mouths Full of Cavities

A close up of a bright, white smile

Cosmetic dentistry may involve the addition of a dental material for bonding, porcelain veneers or caps, tooth removal, teeth straightening and/or teeth whitening. But more and more consumers are increasingly implementing home whitening kits to avoid their cosmetic dentist altogether. They are apparently also cutting back on visits to their dental practitioner as well.

With an estimated 92% of adults ages 20 to 64 with dental caries in their permanent teeth, teeth whitening kits are the least pressing dental item consumers need. Your oral health does not start with your dentist. It starts with you maintaining home health, including flossing, brushing and antiseptic use on a daily basis.

Properly cleaning your teeth on a daily basis lets you avoid caries and the need for dental replacements and fillings. A pressing issue, given an estimated 2.3 million implant supported crowns are made and the number of people undergoing dental implant procedures increases by about 500,000 annually across the US.

With the estimated US market for dental implants is $1 billion, one could conclude that oral hygiene products are taking a backseat to teeth whitening kits. The teeth whitening industry has been able to achieve low growth of .9% annually from 2007 to 2012. Discretionary items like teeth whitening kits, which typically include teeth whitening gel and a tooth tray, are growing in the face of a growing denture and dental implant industry, suggesting white teeth are more important to Americans than healthy teeth.