Teeth Whitening Horror

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As a dental hygiene student, this advertisement irritates me, just like the teeth whitening strips will irritate your mouth. The above picture shows an ashamed person with a lemon slice in their mouth and the caption saying “Nobody likes a mouthful of Yellow.” The ashamed expression is used to provoke readers’ feelings of shame if they have yellow teeth too. The lemon slice represents heavily colored teeth. The word yellow is bolded in the corresponding color. This emphasizes the negativity of yellow teeth. The caption is used to describe how society views yellow teeth as a negative attribute. Yellow teeth are perceived as dirty and undesirable. When in fact, it is completely the opposite.

The first thing that hits me regarding any advertisement is the facial expression of the person. In this case, the person looks distraught, ashamed and not proud. The cause of this emotional distress is his yellow teeth. The caption itself states yellow teeth are bad and you, the reader, should change it because nobody likes it and neither should you. The other interpretation is that nobody will like you if you have yellow teeth. Conveniently, there is a problem and only one solution on the poster.  The Crest Whitening Strip appears to be the only solution for whiter teeth and increases readers’ desire to purchase the product. Even more convenient is that this product is accessible at most retail stores, without prescription. Although this is a highly effective advertisement, the poster should come with a warning label. Yellow teeth are not bad. Yellow teeth can represent a number of conditions. The natural color of teeth is a yellow hue. This means healthy teeth is also a yellow color. Colored teeth can also represent disease, if that is the case, the disease should be resolved first prior to whitening. The procedure should always be done on healthy individuals with good oral health. Whitening can aggravate or worsen oral disease conditions hence why it is always important to speak with your dental hygienist or dentist prior to any type of whitening procedure.

My edited version of the poster includes crossing out the judgemental statement. This helps to decrease the need to purchase the Crest Whitening strips to fix the “problem.” I added in information about speaking with dental professionals first. Teeth whitening is known as teeth bleaching. Primarily due to the chemical inside whitening products called peroxide. Peroxide can cause increased tooth sensitivity, soft tissues irritation or inflammation. Soft tissues include the gums, inner cheek, and tongue. As well, it can cause enamel erosion. Teeth sensitivity may go away for some people over time, but for some, it becomes a chronic condition and affects their diet for the rest of their life. Hot or cold food may cause extreme discomfort and this may cause the individual to not eat or drink. Unable to enjoy the simple act of eating or drinking with friends. This also affects their overall health. Soft tissue irritation or inflammation may feel like burning sensations in the mouth. These types of side effects are found on the fine print on the product box but can be completely prevented if people seek their dental professionals first. These side effects can happen to anyone but even worse for individuals with gum disease or current cavities. If the disease aspect is not resolved first, the side effects will occur and worsen their gum disease or cavity condition. The worst case scenario is always tooth loss, which ultimately may impact a persons’ ability to eat or socialize. The importance of good oral health is not well known, but these advertisements should come with big warning signs. Although their products may work, it comes with many preventable side effects.

The main goal of my edited poster is to show that a business’ goal is to increase profit and health is not their priority. A dental professional’s goal is to improve the oral health of individuals; although whitening products have their benefits, it is not suitable for everyone. There are always two sides to one story and it is important to understand both before making decisions that can impact your health in unrecoverable ways.