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Tooth Whitening

Want whiter, brighter teeth? Who does'nt? One option for you may be tooth whitening, also called bleaching. The dental clinic is the best place to seek professional advise.

Many patients have specific questions about tooth whitening. You may be concerned about it's cost, or perhaps about it's safety.

First look at yourself in a mirror. Ask yourself if you feel self-conscious when you smile and if you make attempts not to smile to hide certain aspects of your teeth. Are your teeth visible when you smile? What colour are they? Ask a friend about the colour of your teeth. Then ask yourself how often you wish you had whiter teeth. Weigh the answers to these questions before you consider whitening your teeth.

Our teeth yellow with age. Coffee, tea, cola drinks, soya sauce, cigarettes, pan, tobacco, food colouring, etc. will hasten this process. Many parents remark that the milk teeth of their child were whiter than the permanent teeth that have taken their place - how true! Permanent teeth are yellower than milk teeth, and tend to get darker with age.

It is necessary to have a healthy mouth before beginning to whiten your teeth. Bleeding gums, cavities, sensitive teeth, and other conditions must first be treated. The teeth must be cleaned and polished, to ensure that the whitening gel comes into direct contact with the teeth.

Possible side effects include increased sensitivity to cold during the treatment, tongue and lip soreness, and possibly throat irritation. These side effects always resolve in one to three days after completion or interruption of treatment.

It is possible to whiten your teeth in 7 to 14 days. But how much does all this cost? Prices vary substantially, depending on the shade we have to begin with and the time it is likely to take. However, whitening one's teeth has now become more affordable. Expect to pay Rs.2,500/= to Rs.5,000/= for all your teeth.

This picture shows a custom tray constructed in soft vinyl material and a plastic syringe containing the gel used for tooth whitening.

But is whitening safe? The American Dental Association says that if you are going to get your teeth whitened, you should do so under a dentist's supervision. Dentist-supervised products are applied in a controlled environment and sometimes use a custom-fitted mouthguard to minimize contact between the soft tissues of the mouth and the hydrogen peroxide (the active ingredient found in many of the products). They are considered by many dentists to be safer than over-the-counter, at-home whiteners, which may cause problems that you are unaware of. Over-the-counter, at-home whiteners often can allow more exposure of the mouth tissues to the active whitening agent, a situation dentists warn against.

You now possess the information to make an educated decision. Just remember not to do it for anybody else's sake. Do it only to improve your own self-image.


 
 

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