Consumer demand for teeth whitening procedures has increased by more than
300 percent since 1996 according to the American Academy of Cosmetic
Twenty-one percent of dentists say teeth whitening is the fastest
growing segment of their practice, according to the American Dental
Association, and the American Academy of General Dentistry reports that 93
percent of all dentists offer teeth whitening and bleaching procedures for
consumers seeking that Brittany Spears-like 100-watt smile.
With a nod to the
shining blockbuster smile, HealthSaver offers these top tips on achieving
brighter, whiter teeth:
- Dentist Supervised vs. Over-the-Counter
Home kits, strips and
whiteners are popular, but the results are fleeting. While bleaching
is safe, it requires a dentist's supervision to ensure proper results,
according to the Academy of General Dentistry.
procedures are successful 90 percent of the time, and the brighter
smile lasts from one to five years, rather than just months. Surveys
have found that over-the-counter whiteners did not whiten teeth as much
as dentist procedures.
- Stains, Stains, Go Away
Many stains can be removed with teeth
whitening procedures. Superficial stains that cause teeth darkening or
dulling include coffee, tea, red wine, smoking and even some foods,
such as pasta sauces.
- Teeth Talk ... Common Procedures
Dentists use three procedures --
in-office bleaching systems, laser bleaching and at-home bleaching
(patients use customized mouth guards filled with bleaching agents, to
be worn while sleeping for 10-14 days.)
- Brush Up On Your Dentist
To ensure that you have an experienced
dentist, ask for photos of previous work and make sure the dentist
offers a variety of options.
- White Bright
How bright will your teeth get? You choose. A
dentist will show you "shade cards" similar to those used in choosing
paints. Generally, the longer you bleach your teeth, the brighter they
- Staying On The White Path
With teeth whiteners flooding the market,
an important consideration for all products is the American Dental
Association's Seal of Acceptance. That seal is stamped on some 1,300
products, and in order to earn the seal, the manufacturer must undergo
stringent testing for safety and effectiveness.
- Brush, Brush, Brush
Once you achieve that effervescent smile, the
best prescription is prevention. A solid oral hygiene regimen of
brushing and flossing regularly removes surface stains and improves
dental health to keep that bright smile shining.
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