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Be Smart About Tooth Whitening
Date:5/18/2009

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Everyone wants a whiter, brighter smile. These days, there are many ways people seek to achieve this goal, from a whitening procedure in the dental office to strips sold over-the-counter to whitening toothpaste. Recently, tooth whitening kiosks have been popping up in places such as local malls. This trend raises the question, is it safe?

The Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) encourages the public to consult with and have a thorough examination performed by a licensed and registered dentist prior to having any tooth whitening procedure.

PDA reminds the public that tooth whitening procedures, outside of those readily available for over-the-counter purchase by the consumer for self-use, should be performed only by a licensed dentist within a registered dental office or branch thereof. The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry also is developing a policy statement that will help provide more guidance by clearly defining tooth whitening as the practice of dentistry. This approach will ensure that the patient's specific dental needs are being properly addressed by an individual who is trained and licensed to diagnose and identify possible complications that could occur due to inadequately performed procedures.

Since not all tooth discoloration is the same, patients should first be examined by a licensed dentist to see what type of bleaching is best. After an examination and cleaning to remove simple stains, your dentist may recommend one of the following treatment options:

  • Over-the-counter whitening products, such as whitening strips. These typically yield a very subtle lightening of the teeth. The American Dental Association only approves dentist-dispensed home-use whitening products, to ensure appropriate application and follow-up.
  • Prescription bleaching kits, dispensed by
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Dental Association
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