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    Teeth Whitening

    Whitening Product Safety

    Some whitening products you get through dentists' offices as well as professionally applied (in-office) bleaching products have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, which tells you that the product meets ADA guidelines for safety and effectiveness. Currently, only dentist-dispensed home-use products containing 10% carbamide peroxide and office-applied products containing 35% hydrogen peroxide have this seal. 

    Over-the-counter bleaching products are not endorsed by the ADA, because the organization believes that professional consultation is important to ensuring safe and effective use. No whitening products using lasers are on the ADA's list of accepted products. 

    Several whitening toothpastes available in drugstores have received the seal, too. You can find a list at www.ada.org.

    Not all manufacturers seek the ADA's Seal of Acceptance. This is a voluntary program that requires considerable expense and time on the part of a manufacturer. Just because a product doesn't have the seal does not necessarily mean that the product isn't safe and effective.

    Teeth whiteners are not drugs and therefore aren't regulated by the FDA.

    Choosing an Over-the-Counter Whitening Kit

    Try to select a product that allows the mouthpiece to be customized. Some kits come with a tray that can be molded to some degree. These are better than others that come with a standard mouthpiece.

    Look for online reviews and ask around to find out what others who may have already tried the kit you're considering think about it.

    If at any time you experience a prolonged change in the color of your gums or an increased tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages, stop wearing the mouthpiece and see your dentist immediately.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Michael Friedman, DDS on August 25, 2014
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

    How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

    Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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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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