Monday, April 14, 2008

Now that we understand how POMEGA5 skin care benefits your skin, how about teeth whitening?

The face, lips and teeth of Laura March, a POMEGA5 user
Teeth whitening is the most commonly requested cosmetic dentistry procedure. It’s designed to enhance your appearance by reducing tooth discoloration and staining to elicit a brighter, whiter smile.

You may feel that your teeth are too discolored to ever be white again, but cosmetic dentists are achieving amazing results with the newest whitening techniques.

The Prevalence of Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration and staining is a relatively common problem. Teeth are porous and are therefore not stain resistant.

Red wine, soda, coffee and tea, among other food and drink, contribute to the discoloration of teeth over time. Medications such as the antibiotic tetracycline can cause significant staining, resulting in yellow, grayish teeth. Smokers’ teeth can become permanently stained if the discoloration is not treated in a timely manner. Discoloration can also occur secondary to conditions such as fluorosis, dentin and enamel dysplasia and dental caries.

Tooth trauma caused by a fall or collision can cause tooth discoloration. Trauma could result in tooth death (tooth necrosis) which would cause discoloration. Typically, root canal therapy is required as the treatment for tooth necrosis, after which internal bleaching can be performed to correct discoloration.

Tooth brushing alone can’t brighten teeth dulled by years of exposure to such discoloring agents. In fact, people with dull teeth sometimes over-brush in an attempt to eliminate stains, and this can harm the enamel covering of the tooth.

Teeth Whitening Considerations

More often than not, teeth whitening serves as an adequate solution to discoloration. However, the effectiveness of teeth whitening can vary, depending on the individual. Also, whitening procedures can cause temporary tooth sensitivity, which varies in intensity from person to person.

Occasionally tooth discoloration is so severe that whitening alone cannot fully treat the problem. In these situations, veneers might be a better option. Your dentist can advise you about this.

The Teeth Whitening Procedure: In-Office vs. At-Home

Teeth whitening can be performed either in-office by your dentist or at home by you. While in-office whitening produces an immediate and often dramatic effect, many people appreciate at-home whitening for its flexibility and lower cost. How exactly do the two options differ?

In-Office Whitening

The advantage of having your teeth whitened in the dental office is that this approach is fast and produces immediate improvement. Typically, your teeth can be whitened by several shades within 45 minutes, dramatically improving your appearance in the shortest possible time. Tooth shade charts are used during the consultation stage of treatment to establish your current shading and determine your whitening goal. In-office whitening is unique in this respect, as your dentist has more control over achieving your specific teeth whitening goals.

During your teeth whitening procedure, you are made comfortable while your teeth are prepared. Your dentist places a guard in your mouth to protect the lips and gums from a whitening gel that is applied to the teeth.

In some types of in-office whitening, application of the whitening gel occurs in three sessions over the course of the visit. A special lamp is used to activate the whitening gel and speed up the whitening process. Once the gel is activated, it remains on the teeth for 15-20 minutes until the next application.

Disadvantages of in-office teeth whitening include cost and greater incidence of temporary tooth sensitivity. Since in-office, one-time regimens use potent whitening agents, there’s more potential for temporary sensitivity.Learn more about commonly used in-office whitening agents.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

Although many people opt for the "once-and-done" approach to teeth whitening associated with in-office treatment, some people prefer at-home methods. These range from prescription products provided by your dentist to over-the-counter products such as whitening strips.

The most effective at-home whitening systems use a prescription-strength gel kit your dentist provides. Most kits contain mouth trays that you fill with the whitening gel and place over your teeth for varying times, from a few minutes to overnight.

Application times vary greatly for the various dentist-dispensed, at-home products. Wear times of 30-60 minutes, once or twice a day, are common; results are achieved in a little as three days, but more commonly 5-10 or more days.

Advantages of at-home products include cost and the ability to re-treat as needed. Although it takes longer, many people find that eventually the results of at-home whitening are on par with in-office procedures.

The POMEGA5 Collection

Over-the-Counter Whitening Products

While the dentist-prescribed at-home whitening systems are more effective than other at-home options, you may choose a less expensive over-the-counter teeth whitening kit. These kits may contain whitening gel and application trays, or whitening strips that you place on the surface of your teeth.

Whitening has become popular to the point that many toothpastes and mouthwashes are now infused with whitening agents. Toothpaste whitening is an inexpensive option, but it’s relatively ineffective. Toothpastes may be gritty and abrasive to the enamel, can only remove stains on the surface of the teeth and don’t actually change the whiteness of your teeth.

Your dentist can help you determine which brand of whitening may best serve your esthetic goals.

Teeth Whitening Costs

The overall cost of teeth whitening depends on many factors, some of which include:
The dentist performing the procedure.
The locale where the procedure is performed. In general, health care procedures tend to be more expensive in metropolitan areas.
The brand of teeth whitening you select.

Your dental insurance (cosmetic dentistry is typically not covered by insurance).

On average, teeth whitening may cost approximately $450-$500 with the results lasting for several months or more, depending on how well you do maintaining your whiter smile. On the low end, whitening strips start at about $25 in the drug store. In-office whitening procedures can cost anywhere from $400 to $900, depending on the product, the provider and the location where the procedure is performed.

Maintaining Your Whiter Smile

In order to maximize the longevity of your whitening treatment, it is important to avoid food and drink that could stain your teeth for about a week after whitening, as well as to refrain from smoking.

Your dentist will advise you to maintain excellent oral hygiene (brush and floss after every meal) and steer clear of some of the more common causes of discoloration (coffee, tea, red wine, etc.). To help avoid future staining, dentists often suggest using a straw, even with coffee and tea. Smokers wishing to undergo whitening treatment are advised to stop smoking in order to prevent the staining it causes. Discuss such considerations with your dentist during your initial whitening consultation.

Tommy will be a good candidate for teeth whitening procedures
Cheryl, his mother uses omega 5 oil products

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