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Bleaching and Teeth Whitening

Mar 29, 2008
Have you ever felt inadequate when faced with a multitude of perfect people appearing on television and print? Has advertising ever caused you to reassess your appearance? Did you known that most of these images have been digitally enhanced? Have the constant exposition of brilliant white smiles made you think about having teeth whitening treatment?

The four questions raised above should make you think about how you have been effected by the constant appearances of people with perfect skin, superb figures and shiny white Hollywood smiles. However much we try to convince ourselves that we are perfectly happy with our bodies deep down a large percentage of the population have at least one or two things which they would like to improve and, increasingly, having teeth whitening treatment or other dental work done is appearing in the list.

When we see the models in the glossy magazine, more often than not, they will have a gleaming smile with shiny white teeth. However, you will also notice that the whites of their eyes are often pure white and their skin is blemish free. However in reality they may have one or two spots and a rather dull set of teeth. The images you see have been digitally enhanced to make the image perfect but in processing the image the publisher is portraying a false image.

Today the need to have pure white teeth and a wide smile seems to be one of the most important requirements of looking great. More and more of the stars of Hollywood are having their teeth treated to ensure that they have the whitest teeth. The more stars we see with perfect teeth the more we feel the need to whiten our own teeth and, luckily, there are a number of ways in which teeth can be whitened.

Most types of teeth whitening treatment include the use of bleaching agents of different strengths. Home bleaching, using over the counter products, is highly popular. The professionals also use bleach to whiten teeth but the dentist can offer both external and internal bleaching which is not possible at home. Laser bleaching is another method becoming more common these days.

There are many over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products and the best contain a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide which is a powerful bleaching agent which bleaches the teeth white. Contained in an OTC teeth whitening kit is usually a special mouth tray in which the bleaching agent can be poured. The trays, one for the top set of teeth and one for the bottom set, are placed into the mouth and left in situ for around half an hour.

Professional teeth whitening is carried out in the dental surgery by a suitably qualified cosmetic dentist. Obviously, under such conditions, far more powerful bleaching agents can be used. One of the most common types are those that are 'light activated' where a special light is used to enhance the whitening process.

When the two methods above are used together the home treatment is often carried out prior to the treatment in the surgery. Furthermore it is common for people to bleach their teeth, at regular intervals, at home following a pro treatment so that they can leave it longer between trips to the dental surgery. This approach is referred to as 'combined teeth whitening'.

A different approach is taken for the treatment called internal bleaching. As the name suggests it is the interior of the tooth that is whitened in this treatment so it is common to include one of the above treatment to bleach the exterior surface of the tooth. In this treatment a bleaching agent is injected into the tooth and allowed to work for a week before it is removed and the entry point permanently sealed.
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