Teeth whitening is becoming more popular as new types of procedures are being introduced. There are in-office whitening, over-the-counter kits, and take-home whitening kits. There are even home remedies floating around. With all of the different ways to whiten your teeth, it's hard to pick what is right for you. Here is all you need to know about whitening your teeth.

Pros:

  • Bright smile. One of the obvious reasons to whiten your teeth is for a brighter smile, and to just feel better. Teeth whitening will aid in this.
  • Remove stains. A lot of things can stain your teeth. Certain drinks such as coffee, colas, and red wine can darken tooth enamel. Smoking and simply getting older also darken your teeth.
  • Brighten teeth. Teeth grinding causes the edges of your teeth to discolor and teeth whitening will fix that.

Cons:

  • Only temporary. Teeth whitening is not permanent. To maintain the brightness, you must repeat treatments.
  • Negative side effects. Some side effects can include chemical burns, sensitive teeth, and over-bleaching of the teeth. The more you repeat treatments, the more likely these affects are bound to happen. If you overuse any teeth whitening agents, it can result in tooth enamel damage.
  • Cost. Teeth whitening isn't cheap. Here are the average prices: In-office=average of $650. Over-the-counter= $20-$100. Take-home= $100-$400.

Things to consider:

Teeth whitening agents may not work for everyone. Brownish and gray tinted teeth don't bleach well. Tooth-colored fillings may not be lightened in the process, they may actually stand out. Time can be both a pro and a con depending. Going to the in-office sessions are usually for an hour at a time, but there are less application times. You won't be able to do anything else while the agent is working, but you won't have to go very often. If you use over-the-counter products, you only have to apply for about 5-30 minutes, but daily. Make sure you have a set schedule in order to apply the agents at the same time, otherwise the results won't be too great. When researching on teeth-whitening products, make sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal assures that the product has met the American Dental Association standards for safety and effectiveness.

Warnings:

Anyone who is allergic to peroxide should avoid teeth whitening altogether. All bleaching products used for teeth whitening contain at least a small amount of peroxide. If you have receding gums, sensitive gums, or sensitive teeth, you should discuss teeth whitening with your dentist.

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