Teeth whitening tips and concerns

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Whiting your teeth may bring you a brighter smiles, but the procedure could be expensive and harmful if taken to the extreme.

Companies have produced teeth whiting products for both office procedures and home use to keep up with the growing trend.

Here are some pros and cons of the various ways to get yourself a brighter smile.

Whiting strips can be purchased from any convenient store can they cost between $10 to $40.  The downside is the strips only cover the first few teeth and could take anywhere from 7 to 12 days to see results.  

An office whiting performed by a professional can be costly, ranging between $300 to $500.  However these procedures use a higher percentage of bleach and one visit can make your teeth three to six shades lighter.  

You may also consider purchasing a take home kit that you can purchase from your dentist.  These cost around $100 to $250.

Dr. Nicole Dahlkemper of Water's Edge Dentistry warns about too much whiting.  "Whiting can cause a lot of sensitivity or if you have cavities or gun recession it can cause a lot of sensitivity and it can cause bigger problems," Dr. Dahlkemper said.

Paige Pollak says that the office procedure is the best bang for her buck.  After years of eating foods that caused her teeth to darken, she decided to whiten her teeth with home whiting strips.  Feeling unsatisfied with the strips she decided to go to her dentist for whitening.  

Dr. Dahlkemper says that Paige is just one of millions of people whitening their teeth.  Teeth whiting is the most requested cosmetic procedure in dentistry.

Dahlkemper also said it's safe to whiten your teeth every five to six months.  It's also important to keep in mind that dental work such as crowns and veneers cannot be whitened.

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