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Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening continued...

Remember that whitening is not permanent; your teeth will slowly become discolored again. Some lifestyle choices, such as drinking coffee or using tobacco, will speed up how fast your teeth lose their new whiteness.

Children and teens

Children and teens with discolored teeth may have a negative self-image that can result in unhealthy behavior. Teeth whitening may help them with their self-image.

In children and teens, stained or discolored teeth may be the result of:

  • An injury or infection.
  • Fluorosis, which is using too muchfluoride. This can change the color of the teeth.
  • The antibiotic tetracycline. Using this antibiotic can result in stains on the teeth.

It is important to discuss teeth whitening with your dentist. If your child still has a mix ofprimary andpermanent teeth, whitening all teeth may result in teeth being different shades of white. This is because the thickness of the tooth enamel is different in these two types of teeth. Colors may also change when the permanent teeth replace the primary teeth.

Citations

  1. American Dental Association (2009). Tooth whitening treatments: Frequently asked questions. Available online: http://www.ada.org/public/topics/whitening_faq.asp.

AuthorJeannette Curtis
EditorKathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate EditorTerrina Vail
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerSteven K. Patterson, BSc, DDS, MPH - Dentist
Last UpdatedApril 23, 2009
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 23, 2009
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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