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Try Tooth Whitening to Look Younger and Healthier

Sep 14, 2008
Tooth whitening is becoming more and more popular these days. To combat things that tarnish our teeth on a daily basis like drinking coffee and smoking, people turn to products that help whiten our teeth. There are generally three categories of tooth whitening products: Whitening toothpastes, at home whitening procedures and in office whitening procedures.

If you are thinking of trying tooth whitening to enhance your appearance, there are some things to keep in mind as you consider the different types of systems that can help you. The simplest and least expensive route to go is the route of the whitening toothpaste. These toothpastes remove stains by way of mild abrasion. Whitening toothpastes that are accepted by the ADA (American Dental Association) have an additional ingredient that polishes and provides additional abrasiveness. Unlike bleaches, the chemicals in whitening toothpastes do not alter the intrinsic coloring of the teeth.

There are many different products that are available for private use at your home, and these can be obtained from your dentist or over the counter at retail stores. Bleaching solutions contain peroxide, which bleaches the enamel of the teeth. The whiteners usually come in gel form and are placed in a type of tray that you wear for various amounts of time. The solution can also come in the form of whitening strips that are placed on the teeth for a bit of time each day. Be aware of any side effects that may occur during the time when you are using these bleaching agents. In many cases, tooth sensitivity may become an issue, but is usually temporary and will lessen once the tooth whitening procedure is finished. Some people also develop soft tissue irritation, either from the bleaching solution coming in contact with gums or from a tray that doesnt fit right. Speak with your dentist about any concerns you may have.

If the tooth whitening toothpastes and at home systems dont provide you with enough whitening power, you may be a candidate for in office bleaching. This is also called chairside bleaching. Chairside bleaching can be done in the dentists office, but sometimes requires more than one visit. Each visit will usually last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete. The dentist will apply a rubber shield or protective gel to your gums to protect the tissues and prevent damage and irritation. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light is used to increase the effect of the bleach. Lasers can also be used to enhance the action of the tooth whitening agents during procedures.

While tooth whitening toothpastes are of course less expensive than in office whitening, they are not as effective or as quick to produce results as going to the dentist office for treatment. If you are interested in tooth whitening, talk to your dentist and get recommendations on what route may be best for you.
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