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Health Tip: Want Those Pearly Whites Brighter?

Be careful in choosing a dental whitening system

(HealthDay News) -- Everyone wants a brighter smile, but with all the new teeth whitening products on the market, it's hard to know your options.

The American Dental Association (ADA) says some approaches to teeth whitening include in-office bleaching, at-home bleaching and whitening toothpastes.

Your dentist may suggest in-office bleaching, which may require more than one visit taking 30 minutes to an hour. During this procedure, the dentist will apply a bleaching agent to the teeth, and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent.

Bleaching solutions that you can use at home include peroxide that bleaches your tooth enamel. These kits usually come in gel form, but usage regimens vary.

Toothpastes are also effective for removing surface stains, but whitening toothpastes have special chemical agents that provide additional stain removal. These products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.

Regardless of the procedure you use, it is recommended you speak with your dentist beforehand, and be sure to look for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Consumer News