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OTC Whitening Kits and Dentist Teeth Whitening: What’s the Difference?

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When you smile, do you like what you see? Everyone wants to have stunningly white teeth, but for some of us it can be tougher to achieve that perfect smile. Thankfully, there is help out there in the form of teeth whitening products and treatments. Turning your dull, stained, or yellow teeth into a brilliant shade of white can be just a few treatments away!

Looking into the various types teeth whitening products available on the market can be a little overwhelming. There are tons of options out there, and sometimes the choices can all blend together. One especially big distinction that people want to understand is what the difference is between over the counter teeth whitening kits, compared to teeth whitening by a dental professional.

What Is Professional Dental Whitening?

Image: kreativedentalclinic

When you go to the dentist, you can ask if the office provides professional whitening treatments. These treatments involve the dentist painting a bleaching gel on your teeth. As the Colgate Oral Care Center explains, this gel is pretty powerful, “in-office whitening procedures are carefully monitored and contain a higher concentration of bleaching gel.” The bleach is left on for a specific amount of time, and much like the kits, a light may be used to help increase the whitening results you see. A professional whitening session typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the type of whitening agent used. 

What Are Over the Counter Whitening Kits?

There is a wide range of tooth whitening products available both online and in your local pharmacy. One type that has been growing in popularity is teeth whitening kits. These kits typically come with special trays that will fit snugly over your teeth. When you open the kit, you will find the trays, a specific type of whitening gel, and in some cases a portable LED light. The purpose of the light is to increase the whitening power by activating the bleaching ingredients within the whitening gel. However, some kits do not use the light method, and rely on the gel to complete the whitening.

Each kit comes with specific instructions, but you will typically need to place a designated amount of gel in each tray. You will then place the tray over your teeth to hold the gel closely against each tooth and ensure they all are exposed to the whitening agents. You will generally need to wear the trays for a specific amount of time (usually under an hour) for a few days to a few weeks in order to see the full results.

Which Type Is Right for Me?

First, it is important to talk to your dentist. They will be able to give you helpful advice about which products will work best while keeping your teeth nice and healthy. Your dentist can also check your teeth to make sure they are in good shape and will be good candidates for teeth whitening.

Beyond a dental consultation, the choice of which type of whitening you get is up to you. There are a few important factors you should consider when deciding which type of treatment to get:

  1. How much do you want to spend? This is an important question, because teeth whitening can vary greatly. Kits can range from close to $100 and up, while most professional in-office dental treatments cost around $650.
  2. How discolored are your teeth? Check out your current smile, is it just a bit dull or does it need a lot of work? The type of treatment you choose depends heavily on how much improvement you want to see. If you just want your teeth to be a few shades lighter, you might want to do a less intense treatment. If your teeth are extremely stained or discolored, you should probably consider a professional whitening treatment as the whitening agents are more aggressive. Professional treatments are especially popular with people who drink red wine or coffee, and people who smoke because their teeth are often much more stained.
  3. Where do you want to receive your treatment? Some people aren’t big fans of going to the dentist, and would much prefer to do their treatments at home. Other people find it tough to remember to use the whitening kit consistently, and they prefer to go to the dentist and get it done quickly.

There are people who absolutely love both teeth whitening methods. It is up to you to do your research and consider your options when choosing which type of teeth whitening you want to use.  We recommend you consider how safe it is to whiten your teeth and the cost of teeth whitening when making your decision.

Please do note that some people report an increase in tooth sensitivity after treatments, so it is extremely important to make sure your teeth are very healthy when you start. Whichever whitening method you choose, you can look forward to a brighter smile in your future!

 

 

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The Good Teeth Guide

We’ve all heard the saying that your body is a temple so you need to treat it well. Taking care of your health is important, and while medical science is making great strides, that doesn’t get you off the hook when it comes to daily maintenance. One of the best ways to make sure you stay healthy and feeling good is to take excellent care of your teeth. Having a healthy smile will keep you feeling confident, and help you avoid the complications that come with poor oral hygiene. Here are some great ways to make sure you are taking the best possible care of your teeth.

Brush Your Teeth the Right Way

Throwing toothpaste on a toothbrush and running it across your teeth just is not enough. There are a lot of people who assume that a quick brush once a day is sufficient, but it isn’t. Here is how you really should brush your teeth:

  1. Choose the right tools – The toothbrush and toothpaste that you choose are the basis for your brushing routine. There are tons of options out there of both types. In terms of toothbrushes, you can get a manual brush or an electric one, and you can choose soft, medium, or hard bristle types. The American Dental Association (ADA) weighs in on the issue saying that either option can work, “Whether you decide on manual or powered, choose a toothbrush that you like and find easy to use, so that you’ll use it twice a day to thoroughly clean all the surfaces of your teeth.”
  2. Brush those teeth – As noted above, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic says about the best way to brush your teeth, “Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions. Remember to brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue.” A complete cleaning takes a few minutes, but it will help you ensure that your entire mouth is clean.
A Guide to Flossing


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A lot of people dread that awkward moment when their dentist asks how often they floss. Why do they keep asking? It’s because flossing really is important. There are little gaps and spaces between your teeth that need to be cleaned out regularly. Brushing your teeth can’t get into those tight places, so that’s where flossing comes in. Using dental floss regularly helps to prevent gum disease as it removes pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth that normal brushing can’t reach. When plaque is allowed to build up, the bacteria can cause inflammation and irritate the gums.

WebMD recommends that you floss twice a day, but if you can only fit in one session then choose to floss a night because, “’Your salivary flow is very low when you're sleeping,’ Srivastava says. ‘So for those 7 or 8 hours you're in bed, you're not washing away the bacteria teeming in your mouth.’” Don’t sleep with a bacteria-filled mouth, instead take a minute and floss before your head hits the pillow.

Mouthrinses Can Help


Image: psu.edu

Even though your teeth probably feel extremely clean, there is another step that can be really beneficial. Again, we turn to the ADA for details on why mouthrinses and mouthwashes can help, “Mouthrinses are used for a variety of reasons: to freshen breath, to help prevent or control tooth decay, to reduce plaque (a thin film of bacteria that forms on teeth), to prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease), to reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth, or to produce a combination of these effects.” With all of those benefits, it’s hard to justify not using a mouthwash.

One thing to remember is that you shouldn’t rinse right after you brush as you will be washing away all of the benefits that your toothpaste can provide. This includes rinsing with mouthwash, as it will remove all the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth. To get the most out of your mouthwash, choose a different time to use it, for instance after lunch. Mouthwashes can be a great way to keep your entire mouth healthy, just make sure you stagger your use so as not to counteract the benefits of your toothpaste.

Taking excellent care of your teeth just makes sense. You’ll have fewer dentist visits, healthier teeth, and a better chance of preventing cavities and decay. Make oral hygiene a standard part of your daily routine, and you will be on track to keep your teeth healthy and sparkling white for many years to come.

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Celebrate National Dentist Day

National Dentist Day

You may never have heard about National Dentist Day which falls on March 6th. At first, it might seem odd to celebrate this medical profession, especially as so many people unfortunately fear going into the dentist office. However, a little reflection on just how much your dentist does for you will show you how much they deserve to be acknowledged and recognized for all they do.

 

What Is National Dentist Day?

Becoming a dentist is a very respected career choice, and requires a lot of hard work and studying. While it might seem like being a dentist is a fairly new profession, in fact, the first dentist in recorded history was an Egyptian named Hesy Ra, who is thought to have lived and practiced his dentistry in Egypt around 2600 BCE. However, the French surgeon Pierre Fuachard, known as the “Father of Modern Dentistry” didn’t appear until 1723.

 

While the profession is extremely old, it has evolved greatly as time has gone on and medical technology progresses. Dentists devote their time and brainpower to developing new and improved ways to take care of our teeth.

 

Why Celebrate Your Dentist?

A dentist does an extremely important job. Have you ever had any tooth pain or discomfort, or oral health issues? If you have, you probably know just how painful they can be and how all you want is for the pain to go away. Who do you turn to but your friendly neighborhood dentist? Your dentist is there to help you in these emergency situations should they arise, with helpful and pain relieving medical treatments.

 

Dentists are also there for you when things aren’t quite so bad. Your dentist helps to make sure your teeth are healthy and when you’re young they ensure they are growing properly. If it looks like you might need braces to keep your teeth straight and prevent issues, they can refer you to an orthodontist. From the time you get your first tooth and on to the rest of your life, you rely on your dentist for guidance and assistance with all of your dental health needs. Doesn’t that deserve a bit of a celebration?

 

How Can You Celebrate?

For one thing, you should keep your teeth clean and healthy! Don’t give your dentist unnecessary hard work, instead, make sure they can take a bit of a well-earned break by giving them a simple job at your next checkup. Not to mention, taking especially good care of your teeth is a gift to yourself as well. Having healthy, strong teeth starts with keeping them clean.

 

You can also celebrate by getting yourself a special treat to help make your smile even better. A lot of people enjoy getting whitening kits or treatments to boost the dazzling white color of their teeth. That can be a great way to celebrate the excellent health of your teeth, all while praising your dentist for giving you such a healthy canvas to whiten!

 

If you really want to celebrate National Dentist Day, then schedule yourself an appointment this March 6th. Call your dentist’s office today to see if they can fit you in on the special day. It would be a nice gesture to get your dentist a little thank you card. After all, everyone deserves a little token of gratitude for their hard work!

 

Famous Dentists

Some famous (or infamous) people you might not expect were also trained dentists. Here is a list of some surprising celebrities who were also experts in the dental field.

 

  • Paul Revere – He did a lot more than just warn the troops about the British; Paul Revere was also a dentist! Apparently he trained under John Baker who is reported to be America’s first dentist.
  • John Henry “Doc” Holliday – Yes, he fought at the O.K. Corral, but he was also a trained dentist who practiced in Atlanta for a time.
  • Edgar Buchanan – Have you ever watched Green Acres or Petticoat Junction? Then you might be familiar with popular actor Edgar Buchanan. It seems he was a lot more than just a successful television actor, and he actually started out as a dentist.
  • Jim Lonborg – Jim was a famous baseball pitcher who played Major League Baseball for several teams in the 1960s and 1970s. After he retired from playing baseball, he went to Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and has been a practicing dentist ever since.

 

So as you see, it’s always worth taking a trip to the dentist. As well as ensuring your teeth are in tip top condition, you never know who you might meet!

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How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost in the US?

 

If you’re looking to whiten your smile and let the new you shine, the question you’re probably most curious about is the cost. Depending on your situation, there are a number of different routes you could take towards having a brighter smile. Each option varies in overall price and affordability. Luckily for you, we’ve listed them all for you here. No matter your situation, you can find the right whitening process that fits your budget and grants your wish for dramatically whiter teeth.

How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?

Type of Teeth Whitening Cost
In-Office Teeth Whitening $650 on average
Dentist Take Home Trays $400 on average
At-Home Teeth Whitening Products $100 or less
DIY Natural Whitening Methods* $10 - $20

*Note that user experience with Natural Whitening Methods varies greatly, and this article does not endorse any untested methods.

 

Laser Teeth Whitening

 

Image: nw1dentalcare

 One of the most innovative methods for teeth whitening is becoming more and more popular with average Americans. Laser whitening is a quick and easy option without the hassle of strips, trays, or at-home application. However, most dental insurance programs do not offer coverage for laser whitening procedures. Since laser whitening is generally the most expensive method available, it can be a pricey procedure. Typically, the average cost of laser whitening in the U.S. is close to $1,500. If you’re interested in this option, check with your insurance provider or dental professional. If you aren’t covered for laser whitening, there may be a payment plan available to you to help cover the cost of the laser treatment.

In-Office Professional Dental Whitening

 

Image: goehringdental

 The next most expensive option is to visit your dentist for a traditional, in-office whitening. This is an easy procedure that can sometimes be covered by dental insurance when it qualifies as preventative care for larger issues. The price will vary, but you can expect to spend the same or slightly less than you would on an advanced laser procedure. You might spend anywhere from $200 - $1,000 depending on your dentist. Another option is to make the transition to a new dentist for your whitening and cleaning. Oftentimes, new dental offices or offices looking for new clients will offer free or reduced whitening to new sign on customers. If you’re looking to change your dentist, or you’ve recently moved, try looking into what is being offered to new clients from dental offices in your area.

Whitening Trays

This is more of a midway option between the professional and at-home treatments because this procedure can be done in both places. Whether you are having a dental professional whiten your teeth in an afternoon, or using the trays at home over the period of a month or two, this method is an effective way to bring the brilliance back to your smile. The price can range from $100 to $500 depending on whether you use custom trays from your dentist or an at-home method. Either way, whitening trays are a bit more involved than using strips or pens. However, if your stains require an extra boost, this method is a strong contender in terms of effectiveness on stubborn stains and cost. Your dentist can help you decide if you should go with a custom tray treatment or try an at-home variation.

At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits

 

If you’re uneasy about visiting the dentist or your insurance or budget is an inhibiting factor, then home treatments might be for you. Popular items include home whitening kits, whitening strips and pens that let you apply the whitening agent in the comfort of your own home. The downside being that instead of a one-day appointment, these kits will often take you through a regimen of whitening over time. However, if you’re looking to cut cost and you’re not in a hurry, at-home whitening is a simple process that produces real results.

The Pearly Whites range costs from just $29 and can be done with no special tools or prior experience. The advantages being that you do the whitening on your own time and with budget friendly materials. Some dentists believe that at-home teeth whitening can actually be more effective on certain stains than an in-office procedure. You should consult with you dentist to see if this low cost option is right for you.

DIY Natural Whitening Methods

Image: thecoconutmama.com

Some people with sensitive teeth or gums respond poorly to the whitening agents contained in most in-office and at-home teeth whitening procedures. If you’re worried about the cost or the chemicals of the more advanced methods, there are a few natural ways to whiten your teeth as well. Besides simply cutting down on stain producing foods like coffee, wine, and soda; there are certain foods and natural items that can help. Coconut oil mouth rinses and brushing with baking soda are options some believe help fight stains and produce stronger enamel. Of course, you should be careful when trying any at home remedy and be sure to consult with a doctor, dentist, or natural health professional before proceeding. Natural options are likely to be the cheapest option available ($10 - $20), but may require more repeat usages than at-home whitening kits, if they work at all.

The teeth whitening solution you choose is completely up to you, and will probably depend on the budget you have as well how discolored your teeth actually are. Take the time to decide which option is best for your individual needs, and don’t forget to consult your dentist, especially if you have any underlying oral health issues or sensitivity.

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Celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day, 28th February

A fun day to celebrate, especially if you have smaller children in your family is the National Tooth Fairy Day, on the 28th February. This day is all about taking proper care of your pearly whites – so it’s not just a good lesson for the kids, but also for you!

The Tradition of the Tooth Fairy

Image: Stayathomemum.com.au

It all started in the mid-1920s, as a way to encourage and remind children to take care of their teeth, eat in a healthy way and get a good night sleep. The Tooth Fairy actually came to life in 1927, when a small booklet about oral care for children was first printed out. After that, nothing could stop the imagination of people and the tooth fairy rumours became real for children all around the world. This also encouraged children to overcome the trauma of their teeth falling out as they are promised a small reward from the tooth fairy.

Fun Things to Do On National Tooth Fairy Day If You Have Children:

It’s important to raise awareness and “celebrate” this day with your kids or little cousins. Explain to them about the importance of having healthy teeth and taking care of them by eating healthy food and cutting down on sugar. To make it more fun for them, here are a few things that every 2-6 year old will enjoy:

  • Making Healthy Snacks: Fresh vegetable sticks with hummus and sour cream dips and their favourite movie is a great plan for this day
  • Reading a Book about The Tooth Fairy: There are various books available related to the tooth fairy and dental care. If your children are smaller, they will definitely enjoy a story about the adventures of the tooth fairy
  • Tooth Fairy Colour Books: If they are obsessed with colouring, print out a few tooth fairy images they can colour in while chatting about the importance of the keeping their teeth healthy

Things You Can Do For Yourself

For adults, National Tooth Fairy Day is all about realizing the importance of taking care of your teeth properly. Besides looking great on photos and feeling more confident about your smile, dental care is also important for your own health. No one wants to deal with sensitive and bad teeth or sensitive gums, and with a few minutes each day, you can make sure to avoid these problems.

Brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day, flossing, using mouth water, cutting down on sugary snacks and drinks and avoiding eating too hot and too cold food that can make your teeth sensitive is all on the list for proper oral care. Another thing you can do during this is visiting your dentist for a regular dental check.

Spoil Yourself…

…with a teeth whitening session. What better day can you imagine for a teeth whitening session than the national day for dental care? Invest in an at home teeth whitening kit to get those teeth pearly white.

So enjoy National Tooth Fairy day by taking care of your teeth, and remember to say CHEESE!

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