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Health Advice Club: Tooth Whitening

If you want to whiten your teeth, the best place to start is

with a healthy mouth. Tooth decay, sensitive or cracked teeth, infections or

periodontal (gum) problems should be diagnosed and treated before any tooth whitening

procedure. Otherwise, you could experience discomfort. The whitening process

may aggravate existing problems, or the whitening process simply may not be

right for you.

Begin With Dental Checkup

Rather than heading to the local cosmetic counter or

shopping mall in search of tooth whiteners, start with a dental checkup. Your

dentist can evaluate, diagnose and treat any pressing oral health conditions

and advise you about different options to safely and effectively whiten your

teeth. Your dentist also can determine whether whitening will work for you.

When the dentist diagnoses the cause of the discolorationinjury, stains from

food or tobacco, antibiotic treatment as a child or other causesa suitable

tooth- whitening method or product can be selected. The diagnosis is important;

otherwise, you could be wasting time and money because whitening treatments

work only on natural tooth enamel, not on crowns, veneers, bonding materials or

tooth-colored fillings.

Many tooth whiteners are advertised on Websites, television

infomercials and the radio, as well as in magazines and newspapers. The

American Dental Association (ADA) is concerned about the safety of

tooth-whitening chemicals and procedures that are performed without the care or

supervision of a licensed dentist. The ADA recommends that if you choose to

have your teeth whitened or use a bleaching product, you should do so only

after consulting with a dentist. If the chemicals used to whiten teeth are not

applied properly, they could damage soft and hard tissues in the mouth.

Tooth - Whitening Kiosks

Recently, tooth-whitening kiosks have appeared in malls and

salons. In at least one state, these kiosks have been banned. Although they may

be staffed with people wearing "scrubs" or laboratory coats who may look like

health care professionals that often is not the case.

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Staff running the tooth-whitening kiosk may have no health

care training and no license to provide health care services. However, they are

dispensing chemicals that could permanently affect your teeth and gingivae

(gums).

Infection Control Techniques

Dental office staff members are trained in infection control

techniques that follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's

guidelines. The guidelines include such procedures as changing examination

gloves and disinfecting work surfaces after each patient visit, washing hands

and following other infection control procedures.

Talk with your dentist about the pros and cons of different

whitening treatments and what may be right for you. He or she may suggest a

simple procedure that can be performed in the dental office. This procedure is

called "chairside bleaching" and may require more than one office visit. Each

visit may last from 30 minutes to one hour. Your dentist also may dispense a

product for daily use at home for a period of weeks.

White, bright teeth are desirable, but having a

healthy smile is more important. Your dentist can help you achieve not only a

whiter, more attractive smile, but one that is healthy and contributes to your

overall health.

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Posted in Business Post Date 04/22/2019


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