|Blinded By The White (Tooth Whitening FAQS)
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Blinded By The White (Tooth Whitening FAQS)
by Dr. Robert Osgoodby
Blinded by the white. That's what millions of tooth obsessed consumers are looking for. A whiter shade of pale. Do over the counter whitening products really work? The tooth whitening industry has exploded over the past five years. Americans spend over $64 billion annually to brighten their smiles. But most dentists say many people are taking whitening too far resulting in several ailments including irritated gums, bleeding gums, and severe tooth sensitivity.
Besides attaining unnaturally gleaming smiles, bleach can do real damage. Bleaching gel when left on the teeth too long, bleaches the surrounding oral tissue, forming white patches in the mouth, and causing the tongue, gums and throat to burn. Many people are willing to suffer for beauty. Pregnant women are advised not to bleach.
Some whitening toothpastes include abrasive ingredients. Watch out for sodium pyrophosphate and tetrasodium phosphate. They break down stains, but also can break down tooth enamel, making your teeth more likely to darken.
Whitening is not bad, it can make your teeth look great, but you have to do it in moderation. Follow your dentists instructions on how to bleach your teeth and for how long. If you choose to use over the counter bleaching products, follow the exact directions and resist the temptation to keep the bleach on longer. Most important, make regular visits to your dentist. You can not replace regular office dental cleanings with bleaching. You can not bleach out a cavity and bleach on untreated cavities can cause severe pain.
If you decide to use an over the counter whitener, here are several products recommended by one of the top dental clinics in Manhattan:
1. Crest White Strips - Though the strips only cover the front teeth, they brighten better than most over the counter products.
2. Colgate Total Toothpaste Plus Whitening - this toothpaste has it all - tartar control, whitening, breath freshener - without abrasive ingredients.
3. Reach Whitening Floss - this floss is made of silica which polishes away stains between teeth and prevents new ones from forming.
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