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Posted by Jen on May 12, 2000 at 08:11:26:

In Reply to: Tooth whiteners posted by Maud on May 12, 2000 at 00:46:46:

: Do tooth whiteners really work? My teeth have always been yellow, for as long as I can remember anyways. Is there anything I can use to make them whiter? I've tried toothpaste whiteners but they don't work for me.

The toothpaste whiteners are not going to work like you want them to. They tend to use harsh abrasives to remove surface stains, but can be damaging to the teeth and gums.
Talk to your dentist about a bleaching program at home. He can make custom fit trays that hold a bleaching solution that you wear for a period up to 6 hours, less if you experience sensitivity. This is done for around two weeks, then you reapply the bleach as needed for maintenance. One problem I experienced was extreme sensitivity, but just on my lower teeth. I ended up not using the lower tray for a period of 3 days until it went away, along with daily fluoride treatments. Also, one drawback for me, I had braces and they left me with a few 'white' spots which I didnt realize I had. These spots on my front teeth took up the bleach very quick, which left me with noticeable spots, only 2. During the day the spots diminished, and now are no longer visible. I used the bleach for around 2 weeks, but didn't see a tremendous amount of difference. I plan to try a different brand of bleach.
As you mentioned about the yellow teeth, a certain amount of it cannot be removed. Some people are simply 'born' with yellow teeth, its heredity. Also, if you have fair skin as opposed to darker skin, your teeth won't appear as white. Look at a latino's smile and see how beautifully white it looks. Just contrast. I would also suggest doing the upper arch only. Not only for sensitivity reasons, but it also gives you a source of comparison. If you notice tremendous difference then you can do the lower arch later, not that it needs it anyway.
Some doctors do laser bleaching in office. Although this works great, it is very expensive, in the range of a thousand or more. The tray bleaching will run you around $300 for both arches or $200 for one. This will also leave you with a years supply of extra bleach that will store in the fridge. Good luck.

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