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What You Need to Know about Teeth Whitening

Teeth WhiteningThinking about whitening your teeth? Whether you plan on employing a professional or trying it at home, there are a few things you need to know in order to get the best results. Here are three of the most common and important asked questions and answers that will guide you along your path to a white, bright smile.

1. What kinds of things can I do to whiten my teeth?

First and foremost, you can seek professional counsel and help for whitening your teeth. Unlike other dental treatments, however, this is not commonly covered by insurance. Check with your provider before setting an appointment. Second, if you want to do this on your own, you can purchase products like toothpaste and peroxide that will whiten the enamel. Each product will have specific instructions; be sure to follow this so that the teeth aren’t damaged.

Another thing you can do is watch what you eat and keep up good whitening habits. Teeth do not stay white. Good habits like daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing, and avoiding foods or practices that will stain your teeth (coffee, red wine, berries, smoking, etc.) will keep your teeth whiter for longer periods of time. However, you can’t slack off! Keep on top of these practices and enjoy a white smile.

2. How often should I use a whitening product?

Daily care is just that: daily. Other procedures, however, should be done every few months. Too much whitening can cause sensitivity. You will know if you’ve overdone it because your teeth will start to be more sensitive to hot and cold foods, drinks, and air. Also, watch the time. If you use a home product for more than 90 minutes, the treatment stops working and makes no difference. Less than 90 minutes is plenty of time.

3. Is it safe?

For most people, yes! Teeth whitening is fine. For others, however, care must be taken. This includes pregnant women or mothers who breastfeed. Check with your dental caregiver and see if there are options for you. Also, if you  have a chronic dental problem, like gum disease, cavities, or worn enamel, first seek professional assistance before trying a home treatment. Last, keep in mind that tooth whitening only goes so far. Heavily stained teeth will most likely never be a gleaming white, but treatments can help a little. Limit expectations, and you’ll be more satisfied with your results.

A combination of professional teeth whitening and home treatments will keep your teeth whiter for longer. Make use of whatever options are available given your current dental health, and get on the road to a white, bright smile.

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