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Tooth whitening procedures and products

Related Terms

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Background

  • Tooth whitening refers to procedures or products that make teeth look brighter. Tooth whitening has been gaining popularity since the 1990s.
  • Teeth can be whitened with or without bleach. Bleach products contain a peroxide agent (usually carbamide peroxide, which comes in concentrations of 10%, 16%, and 22%) to take away surface stains and underlying stains. This changes the color of the tooth. Bleaching can be done at home or professionally at a dentist's office. Some dentists use lasers or lights along with bleaching chemicals, which some claim makes bleaching faster and/or more effective.
  • Non-bleach products use chemicals or abrasive agents to clean stains off the tooth's surface.
  • Extrinsic stains refer to those on the surface of the teeth. People with extrinsic stains are good candidates for over-the-counter and home-use products. Intrinsic stains, which are beyond the tooth's enamel of the tooth, are more difficult to remove. Removing intrinsic stains is generally more effective when treated in a dentist's office.
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Technique

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Theory/Evidence

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Safety

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.