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What are whitening gels?

Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from brushing twice daily with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, cleaning between their teeth once a day and the regular cleanings at your dentist’s office. Whitening is any process that will make teeth appear whiter. If you decide you would like to brighten your smile by whitening, you can do so by having them professionally bleached in your dentist's office, bleaching them at home yourself or by using a whitening toothpaste. 

Before undergoing any whitening treatment, the ADA advises patients to first consult with their dentist. A thorough oral examination by a dentist is essential to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment. This is especially important for patients with many fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains on their teeth. Several whitening toothpastes that are available over-the-counter (OTC) have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means they have been thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness.
Whitening gels are chemicals in gel form that you can use to temporarily bleach and whiten your teeth. They are peroxide solutions sold over the counter and applied to your teeth with a small brush. Whitening gels that remove stains and polish tend to work better than whitening toothpastes that remove stains but don't bleach your teeth. If you use whitening gels for about 14 days you should have shiny, white teeth for about four months. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.