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Teeth Whitening At Home Vs. Visiting A Dentist

Aug 18, 2007
Even just a few years back teeth whitening was done in a professional dental clinic by expert dentists. Now, availability of at home service for whitening and OTC whitening products has made this process easy and more accessible. Many people who were apprehensive about visiting the clinic for any reason are now comfortable in using whitening applications at home in form of as strip, paint-on, or tray kits.

In some of the countries all systems involved in the tooth whitening process are considered cosmetics, unless the main constituent is fluoride. The manufacturer is required to submit a notification that produces adequate and correct information about safety and labeling to the Health Department for review.

Most of the Heath Department do not approve notification but scrutinize the information to ensure that all requirements have been met. The safety of the product is a manufacturer's responsibility and the finally onus is on the manufacturer.

The OTC teeth whitening kits are quite similar to those that a dental professional applies on your teeth, the only difference lies in the concentration of the active ingredients used. The concentration of ingredients applied is much higher when you visit a professional dentist for whitening your teeth.

Use and application of higher concentrations are permitted only when these are used and applied by specialists who have a better understanding about the control and use of such ingredients and are responsible for monitoring the post-application effects.

Since home based products are not supervised by professional the concentration level is kept low to ensure safety. However a professional can also prescribe his/ her patient to use take-home applications. But in such a case he directly monitors his /her patients after application and can take up required actions in case of any adverse reaction from the products.

Recent clinical studies show that home tooth whitening products are not damaging if these are used properly following the instructions. The studies that have been conducted so far do not indicate detrimental effects of teeth whiteners on teeth structure and enamel.

However, instructions should be followed religiously and any contraindications if mentioned in the label should be kept in mind. These precautionary statements often ignored or missed out leads to complications. Any teeth whitening product should not be used for more than 14 days without a proper dental custody. Your dentist is the best guide to help you whiten your teeth properly only after a thorough review of your teeth structure.
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