We are all aware of the increasing popularity of teeth whitening in the last several years (too many jokes by stand up comics and on sitcoms), but teeth whitening really is not a new invention. In fact, the ancient Romans used a combination of natural products to whiten their teeth. Today, there are so many methods of teeth whitening available that you may be uncertain as to which products are best or safest. Options to choose from include simple whitening agents added to toothpaste, bleaching strips, pens or gels, laser bleaching and bleach swabbing, and professional teeth whitening in your dentist’s office.
Teeth naturally darken with age. The chemicals found in some medications, food and beverages, and tobacco products can stain your teeth. Teeth bleaching or whitening can be performed by a professional dentist, at-home through the use of over-the-counter products or natural products, and also through non-dental practices such as spas or salons. Bleaching solutions contain varying concentrations of peroxide to change the color of the enamel, applied to the teeth through plastic strips or trays. High concentration kits are available for home use, which work in a matter of minutes; lower concentration kits take as long as five to fourteen days.
You should always have your teeth checked by your dentist before you start a teeth whitening program. High concentrations of the bleaching agent can cause chemical burns as the gel reaches unprotected mucous membranes. If an individual already has sensitive teeth, there may be some discomfort experienced, as well as an increased sensitivity to extreme temperatures of either heat or cold. Of course, there is a risk of over bleaching. Finally, be informed and cognizant of the possibility of developing “bleachorexia.” Yes, according to Webster, an obsession with whitening your teeth can become unhealthy!
Posted on behalf of Greencastle Dental
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