Teeth Whitening: What to Know Before You Go

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Have you ever looked in the mirror and wished for whiter teeth? If so, you’re certainly not alone. A 2012 study by Procter & Gamble found that a whopping 86 percent of Canadians would prefer to have pearlier whites. Fortunately, Ottawa dentists can help you achieve a whiter smile with an array of safe and effective teeth whitening treatments. However, if you’ve ever watched Friends (“The One with Ross’ Teeth”) you know that seeking out a little pre teeth whitening knowledge is a small yet crucial part of the process. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Not all treatments are “one size fits all”

Though all approved whitening treatments are deemed safe, different products may better suit different people. In order to choose the right product for you, several factors, such as your lifestyle, medical and dental history should be taken into consideration. It’s best to consult an Ottawa dentist.

2. Strength differs from product to product

The active ingredient in almost all teeth whitening products is hydrogen peroxide; however, the strength of hydrogen peroxide can vary depending on the product. The strength of an at-home kit is typically around 10 to 20 percent, while an Ottawa dentist-administered treatment can range from 15 to 35 percent. The increased strength is part of why professional whitening is often more effective.

3. Teeth whitening is a safe process

You might have heard through the grapevine that teeth whitening can break down your enamel, but this is a myth. Scientists have found no evidence of any short term effects; however, like with anything, over or improper use could lead to negative side effects.

4. Make sure you follow the instructions

Leaving the treatment on for too little or too much time can hamper results. Don’t make the same mistake as Ross and carefully follow the instructions given by your Ottawa dentist.

5. Don’t forget to brush and floss beforehand

The goal of teeth whitening is to whiten your teeth – not any food particles that may still be in them! A good cleaning before whitening will help produce better results.

Consulting an Ottawa dentist before whitening, even if you choose an at-home kit, is the best way to achieve optimal results. Even seemingly natural treatments, if not administered properly, can cause unnecessary damage and harm. Being informed and prepared is the first step towards your new smile.

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