Are You Taking Teeth Whitening to the Extreme?

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Photo: msnbc.com

Okay so not to toot my own horn or anything, but beep beep. Thanks to my mother's side of the family, I was genetically blessed with a strong set of pearly whites. While I'm part of the lucky crowd that doesn't need to go for the teeth-whitening kits and procedures, that's far from the case for many Americans.

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According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), Americans spend over $1.4 billion a year on teeth whitening. That figure doesn't even account for professional treatments, which are expected to rise in the upcoming years. AACD researchers also found that 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset and 74% think an unattractive smile can hurt a person's chances for career success.

So it's no wonder people are going to such extreme measures to make sure their teeth shine bright. But there's a big chance you may be taking it too far. Keep rreading to find out if you're putting your health at risk.

Signs that you might be taking things to the extreme:

  • Sensitivity of tooth enamel
  • Red, irritated gums
  • Hot and cold sensitivity on your teeth
  • A bluish-white translucent appearance on the edges of your teeth.
Major Danger:
  • If you have an area where your tooth is open due to a cavity, then bleach can travel directly into the pulp and potentially cause the nerve of the tooth to die."
Possible solutions:
  • Limit use of over-the-counter whitening kits to every six months
  • Be careful with whitening toothpastes as they can be abrasive and teeth may actually become permanently sensitive


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