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

a licensed dentist, contain peroxide(s) that will bleach the tooth enamel. Prescription bleaching kits contain higher levels of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide than their non-prescription counterparts. Peroxide whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a tray similar to a mouthguard. By obtaining the bleaching solution from your dentist, he or she can make a custom-fitted tray specifically designed to fit your teeth. Poorly fitting trays can cause gingival irritation and tissue burning.
  • Zoom whitening (power whitening) is a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide gel coupled with a high intensity light used to whiten the teeth. This in-office procedure takes approximately one hour. Costing around $600, the results typically last about three years.
  • Whitening toothpaste. While these will not change the natural color of teeth, some contain a special chemical or polishing agent to help more effectively remove stains from the tooth's surface.

  • Keep in mind that bonded teeth, tooth-colored fillings, crowns and veneers cannot be whitened. Discolored teeth that have a brown, yellow or grayish hue may not yield a full whitening effect.

    "Since patients should be cautious when seeking tooth whitening procedures, the first stop should be with their licensed family dentist," said Dr. Joseph Ross, a PDA member and general dentist from New Castle. "Their dentist can inform them of the appropriate options available. Tooth whitening kiosks in malls and shopping centers may not be operated by licensed dentists. Although tooth whitening is cosmetic in nature, there are biological effects. Only a trained licensed dentist can properly diagnose and treat tooth discolorations."

    For more information on other oral health topics, visit PDA's Web site at www.padental.org.


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    SOURCE Pennsylvania Dental Association
    Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
    All rights reserved

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