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How to Whiten Teeth... Safely


Well, this didn't sound like good news. A recent British report says that some at-home tooth-whitening kits had levels of peroxide so high that in some instances they approached the amount found in hair dye. Yikes, and then this:

In a study conducted by the University-Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine in Jerusalem, doctors found that "all groups exposed to bleach showed an increase in mercury release over time."

None of that sounds good. But just as I was ready to succumb to a life of yellow corn-teeth, I read onward and was relieved. The story quotes multiple dentists who say that whitening your teeth isn't a health hazard. One dentist, Dr. Jeff Golub-Evans, director of the New York Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, says to follow these guidelines:

  • Get a product recommendation from your dentist.
  • Purchase only well-established brands.
  • Don't buy teeth whiteners over the Internet, particularly from another country.

For four more tips on safe and effective whitening, read more

  • Always follow package directions.
  • Don't double up on product, leave it on longer than recommended or use it more frequently than recommended.
  • More is not better. Lower concentrations used over a longer period get better results than blasting teeth with high concentrations.
  • If the packaging doesn't look right (for instance, if there are misspellings) or the product looks or smells strange, don't use it.

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