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Get a Brighter Smile With Teeth Whitening

Sep 1, 2008
Cosmetic procedures come in all shapes and sizes today, and can affect just about any feature that you would like to improve upon. Cosmetic dentistry addresses a whole host of issues involving the teeth, and ranges from straightening a crooked line of teeth to giving those pearly whites a spit and polish they will not soon forget. There is nothing more beautiful than a healthy shiny smile, and the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you are putting your best smile forward every single day.

Teeth whitening has made tremendous strides since it was originally introduced in dentists' offices, and today these treatments can be found for every preference and budget. Whether you are looking for a professional treatment from your dentist or prefer to handle the process in the privacy of your home, there is a whitening system that will provide the results you are hoping for.

Whitening vs. Bleaching

Before you run out to the drugstore to pick up your own teeth whitening kit or make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options, there are a few things to know about the whitening process. First, there is a difference between products that claim to bleach the teeth and those that actually whiten them. Bleaching is the term allowed by the FDA to describe the process of whitening the teeth beyond their original color. The bleaches that are typically used in these products include hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

Whitening is a process that will restore teeth to their original color by cleaning the surface of debris and staining. This means that any product that effectively cleans the teeth can be referred to as a teeth whitener. However, some bleaching products may also refer to themselves as "whitening" formulas because the term is more appealing to consumers.

Why do Teeth Stain?

There are many factors that can contribute to yellowing teeth. Age and genetics are two factors that you cannot control but can make a big difference in how white your teeth remain. Other contributors to a less brilliant smile may be smoking, diet, medication and trauma to the mouth. Both extrinsic stains (those that appear on the surface of the teeth) and intrinsic stains that form on the teeth's interior can be good candidates for the right teeth whitening system.

Teeth whitening can be done at home with kits that can be purchased from the drugstore or in a dentist's office. More stubborn stains may require the help of your dentist to get rid of them, while lighter surface stains may respond quite nicely with a home treatment. The cost between professional and take home treatments can vary considerably, so you want to weigh your choice somewhat carefully.

The best part of teeth whitening is that it works. Whether you choose to whiten at home or head to your dentist's office for a professional treatment, these solutions can bring back the whiter, brighter smile of your youth. If teeth whitening is a process you are interested in, talk to your dentist about your choices today.
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