Only 20% of adults have had their teeth whitened by in-office treatments, while 57% of adults do not believe over-the-counter products are as effective as professional teeth whitening, survey finds

Michelle Rivera

Michelle Rivera

Sep 27, 2011 – PRNewswire

CULVER CITY, California , September 27, 2011 (press release) – Philips, the makers of Sonicare power toothbrushes and Zoom whitening, announced today the launch of a new educational campaign called Get It Right!, which encourages people to engage a dental professional in the teeth whitening process to ensure a healthy smile worthy of a great first impression. Smiling is an instinct that starts as early as one month of age and as we grow it becomes one of our most important social assets. “Smiling affects not only how someone feels, but also how others perceive that person,” said psychologist, executive coach and author Ann Demarais, Ph.D. “In fact, research suggests there are a number of benefits to smiling – from a mood enhancer to being more socially appealing.”

The majority of Americans agree. A recent telephone survey conducted by Harris Interactive, and commissioned by Philips as part of the Get It Right! campaign, found that 89 percent of adults agree that a bright or white smile makes a good first impression and 55 percent believe a person’s smile is the best physical indicator of someone’s friendliness. Given this, it is no surprise that the survey also found that more than half (53 percent) of adults say if they could enhance one thing about their smile it would be the whiteness of their teeth, more than the straightness of their teeth or any other cosmetic feature.¹

The survey also revealed that while most adults feel that a smile is important for how a person is perceived, there is a gap between the positive perception towards teeth whitening and the action that people take. Only 20 percent of adults have had their teeth whitened by in-office treatments² despite the fact that more than three quarters (77 percent) of adults agree that a white smile is best achieved by seeing a dental professional. Findings further support that 57 percent of adults do not believe over-the-counter (OTC) products are as effective as professional teeth whitening and 29 percent 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,” explained Dr. Bill Dorfman, DDS, one of the creators of Zoom whitening and best-selling author. “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.”

There are numerous causes of discolored teeth, including age, genetic factors, food and beverage consumption, tobacco use, poor dental hygiene, disease, medication use and tooth trauma.³ Given all of the causes of discolored teeth, it is no surprise that teeth whitening has evolved into one of the most popular aesthetic dental treatments. And consumers have many whitening options available to choose from, including toothpastes, whitening strips and professional treatments administered by a dental professional, including a dentist, hygienist or dental assistant, such as light-activated whitening conducted in the dental office.

With the Get It Right! campaign, The American Dental Hygienist 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, BS. “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.”

For more information about Get It Right! including a tool to find a dental professional near you, visit The website also contains a report by Dr. Demarais, “The Power of a Smile,” that examines the evolution and power of a smile and provides tips on how people can maximize their smile power. Visitors to the site will also find links to the campaign Facebook and YouTube pages.

About the Survey
Harris Interactive conducted a telephone survey within the United States for the Get It Right! educational campaign, commissioned by Philips, between August 5-7, 2011 among a nationwide cross section of 1,006 adults aged 18 and older to identify perceptions of smiles and teeth whitening. Figures for age, sex, race, region and education were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs 119,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 25.4 billion in 2010, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at

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