tooth-whitening.jpgTooth whitening has become popular due to low prices and people getting esthetic-conscious, said Kevin Donly, DDS, MS. The results of a study that compared two similar whitening strips used by teens were published in the March/April 2006 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

In his report, Dr. Donly compared two groups of teenagers using whitening strips. First group used 10 percent hydrogen peroxide whitening strip and the second group used 6.5 percent hydrogen peroxide strip. Use of the strips resulted in significant color improvement for yellowness and lightness. The only complaints of using these whitening strip systems, were tooth sensitivity and oral irritation, which subsided by the end of treatment.

Dr. Donly, listed out things to know before going for whitening.

* Do not eat/drink anything after whitening that might cause a stain (coffee, tea, etc.).

* Existing crowns or fillings will not respond to the whitening agent.

* Strips do not whiten entire arches, but covers the front teeth.

* Do not smoke or chew tobacco after using whitening products.

* Do not use whitening products if you have decay, periodontal disease, or hypersensitivity.

* Know the condition of your teeth and oral tissues.