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Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening, also known as bleaching, has been the most popular dental procedure for the past five years. There are several options for home whitening including expensive toothpastes and advanced techniques by a dental professional including laser dental whitening. From its humble beginnings, tooth whitening has developed into a billion dollar business.

As most of us age our teeth become more porous and mineral changes combing to make the teeth somewhat darker. Everyone wants the whitest teeth possible, and some dentists use “Hollywood smile design” to describe their services. Most dentists recommend 2 whitening treatments per year, but if you are moving to Hollywood you might want to have whitening done more often.

So, what is dental whitening? The procedure uses an oxidizing agent to bleach away tiny stain deposits and lighten the shade of the tooth. Over time, the underlying dentine layer beneath the enamel is also bleached. Most bleach procedures use some type of hydrogen peroxide to act as the oxidizing agent. But, do NOT buy hydrogen peroxide and try this at home! Read the warning story below.

Dental Whitening Tips

Dental whitening does have some limitations. It is not a cure-all, and you still have to take care of your teeth. Here are some tips about dental whitening:

Dental whitening only affects natural enamel teeth. The whitening process does not affect the colour of porcelain or composite crowns or veneers. What does this mean? When you have a porcelain or composite treatment, the product colour is matched as close as possible to your teeth. Once these crowns and veneers are placed, the colour will not change due to a whitening process. So, make sure to have your teeth whitened before you have any crowns or veneers. Then all the shades of white will have the best chance of matching.

Do not buy your own hydrogen peroxide or other whitening materials over the internet because this could be dangerous or even fatal. In 2007 in the UK, a person bought hydrogen peroxide of the wrong strength over the internet and received no instructions. The combination of the wrong chemical and the wrong application produced irreversible oral damage. Learn from this person’s life-changing mistake. We all want to save money, but if you are on a budget then buy a professional home whitening kit from a dentist or contact a reputable manufacturer which has its products approved for sale by the government.

The Main Types of Dental Whitening

Home-based whitening systems cost about $250, depending on the country and the dentist.

Dentist-based whitening systems should use the same products as the home-based system, but they are applied and manipulated by a dental professional in a dental clinic. Add about $100.

Laser dental whitening, such as Zoom!, are very expensive. A special laser is guided by a dental professional. One hour costs about $500.