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Five Things You Need to Know AboutTeeth Whitening

Updated on August 2, 2012

Teeth Whitening Do's and Don'ts

When someone compliments your beautiful smile or white teeth, it really does something for your confidence. Teeth Whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the country. Thinking about enhancing your smile? Here are five things you must know before doing so.

1. Teeth Whitening vs. Bleaching

Whitening brightens your teeth by removing stains caused from food and beverages that we consume daily, such as coffee, tea, wine, cola, sports drinks, and sauces. This procedure whitens teeth back to their naturally white stage. Bleaching brightens the inside layers (dentin) of the tooth, making the natural tooth whiter.

2. The Big Question

Does it hurt? That's what everyone wants to know. Just like any procedure each experience is different. Some patients experience sensitivity or pain, some experience discomfort, while others feel no pain at all.

3. Bright Whites for Every Budget

There's no excuse for a dirty mouth, you can get your teeth whitened on any budget. Whitening toothpaste cost under $20, teeth whitening kits range from $20-150, and professional teeth whitening can cost anywhere from $300 to more than $1200.

4. Making It Last

Once you have that brilliant smile you want to keep it that way. Avoid or cut back on smoking, drinking and eating stain causing foods, to help keep your teeth white. Remember if it stains a white shirt it will stain your teeth. Touch-up treatments are recommended anywhere from 6 months to two years after having the procedure done depending upon how well you take care of your teeth.

5. Don't Over Do It

Overuse of whitening products can cause sensitive teeth and gums. Dentists recommend waiting six months between treatments to avoid over bleaching. Teeth Whitening products may vary in strength and formula. Remember healthy tooth enamel is not pure white its more like the white of an eye.

Tips on Keeping Those Pearly Whites White

  • Eat Fruit! Strawberries, apples and raisins are all great for maintaining that gleaming smile

  • Rinse or brush immediately after consuming stain causing food/drinks

  • Avoid food and drinks that stain your teeth

  • Brush and floss daily!

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