Tooth Whitening

Use Tooth Whitening for More Beautiful Teeth

For coffee and tea drinkers, smokers, and others who regularly abuse their teeth with stain-causing agents, a beautiful, white smile can be hard to come by. There are several tooth whitening procedures that you can use to perfect your smile without doing damage to your teeth or gums by using dangerous and non ADA-approved procedures.

There are several procedures which have been approved by the American Dental Association as being safe and effective for tooth whitening:

In-office bleaching, or "chairside" bleaching is a procedure that is done at your dentist's office. A bleaching chemical is applied to your teeth, after a protective gel has been applied to your gums, and a special light is often used to enhance the effectiveness of the bleaching agent. This procedure takes about thirty minutes and may require more than one visit to complete.

Bleaching solutions are in-home treatments that whiten teeth over a period of use, usually about two weeks. A peroxide gel is placed into a custom-fitted mouthguard. This mouthguard is worn by the patient for a few minutes twice a day for approximately two weeks. A solution is also available that works overnight, while you sleep. Please note, while the peroxide solution is available in several strengths, only the 10% solution is ADA-approved. Stronger peroxide concentrations have the potential to damage tooth enamel. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about this procedure.

Whitening toothpaste is a very cost-effective solution that employs special abrasives in the toothpaste to scrape away material that is staining the teeth. While bleaching agents will change the fundamental color of your teeth, toothpastes, since they employ no bleaching agents whatsoever, will only return your teeth to their natural color. This can be advantageous for people who only want a small change, not a drastic one.

As with almost all medical or dental procedures, the best thing to do before embarking on any tooth-whitening program is to consult with your dentist to determine the best course of action. All of these procedures vary in cost and effectiveness, and what works for one person may not work for another. Private consultation is the best path to an effective, lasting solution.

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