Blog Post 3November 3, 2016
Everyone wants a bright, white smile. White teeth project a healthy, youthful appearance.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they would like to improve most regarding their smile. The overwhelming response: white teeth. And the American Association of Orthodontists found that nearly 90 percent of its patients request tooth whitening.
If you’re on a quest for a movie star smile, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Why do teeth change colors? Coffee, tea and red wine are three primary staining culprits. So are tobacco (tar and nicotine), aging, and certain medications (some antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood prssure).
How does teeth whitening work? Whitening products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, two tooth bleaches. They break stains into smaller pieces, making the color less concentrated and the teeth brighter and whiter.
Does whitening work on all teeth? No. Bleach works well on yellow teeth, but not as much on brown teeth. And gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening doesn’t work on caps, veneers, crowns or fillings.
Three ways to put a shine back in your smile:
Whitening toothpastes: Opalesence is a safe toothpaste that has polishing agents to provide additional stain removal effectiveness.
In-office bleaching: Chairside appointments usually require only one office visit. A dentist will apply either a protective gel to the gums or a rubber shield to protect the gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth. A special light or laser might be used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.
At-home whitening kits: The most effective home whitening kits include 10 upper and lower whitening trays with a 10-percent hydrogen peroxide gel solution. The trays are applied to each arch for an hour a dayand can whiten teeth up to six shades lighter. Over-the-counter whitening strips are available, but the results are not as dramatic.
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