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Teeth whitening

Does commercially available whitening gum and mouthwashes actually work?

The modern world is always looking for quick and easy fixes. We are always looking for the least expensive and painless way to achieve the best results.

In dentistry, this phenomenon is seen by the availability of whitening toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwashes and chewing gum; usually at a markup compared to regular products.

But do they work?

The short answer is NO. Most active dental bleaching agents require a form of peroxide ( carbamide or hydrogen peroxide) as the active ingredient. Think of it as a chemical sand blaster. The higher the concentration, the better the effect. Unfortunately, high concentrations of peroxide is detrimental to your gums over time and can cause tissue sloughing, pain and sensitive teeth. True dentist supplied agents have higher concentrations of peroxide than any commercially available brand but is also used under strict supervision. Most dentists will also recommend a desensitizing toothpaste to use with your bleaching kit.

Commercially available chewing gum, mouthwashes and toothpaste either do not contain peroxide or in such insignificant amounts that it is ineffective. Due to the litigious nature of our society, people may not read instructions and overuse the product. “If 10 mins is good, 2 hours must be better! Right?” For this reason, commercial off the shelf whitening products can never have the same efficacy as true prescription bleaching agents.

Having said that, I have found that the bleaching kits offered by name brand companies have been quite effective for some people. For a small price vs. dentist supplied kits, they are worth a try.

Stay away from any gum, toothpaste or mouthwash that says “Whitening”. It is better to use a regular toothpaste, brush properly and minimize smoking, eating or drinking foods that cause staining.

Save your money and either get a commercial kit or see your dentist for one! Be sure to follow all the instructions to minimize your discomfort and maximize your gain! IF you don't have a dentist, CLICK here and wichDOC.com can help you find one near you!

PS: Did you know that the ancient Romans used to use urine as a bleaching agent?

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