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About This QuizDo you want that gleaming white smile you used to have? Take our quiz on teeth whitening to see if you know all of your options.
What is the most common whitening agent used in do-it-yourself kits?
If you want your teeth whitened at home, then prepare to have your choppers exposed to some peroxide.
Why are whitening strips not as effective as brushed gels?
Gels use a more powerful bleach.
Strips don't whiten in the grooves of your teeth.
Strips just stick to the front of the tooth, and avoid the grooves and areas between the teeth. This is not desired result.
Gels are less expensive.
How is a home whitening gel applied?
With a rubber finger sleeve
With a small brush
A small sea sponge sounds fun, but unfortunately, it's simply a small brush.
With a small sea sponge
Why is not a good idea to use whitening products on crowns and tooth colored fillings?
The chemicals used dissolve crowns and fillings.
It could weaken the crowned teeth.
Fillings and crowns are matched to the color of your teeth, and they can't be whitened.
If you have crowns and fillings in visible areas, they won't whiten along with your other teeth, leading to mismatched colors in your mouth.
True or False: If you're pregnant, you should avoid teeth whitening.
Very true. The ADA recommends that pregnant and lactating women steer clear of teeth whitening products.
What do most toothpastes contain to help remove stains from teeth?
Most toothpastes contain a mild abrasive to help scrub those red wine stains from your teeth.
What kinds of stains respond best to whitening?
Teeth whitening doesn't help much if your teeth are brown or if you're a smoker. Only the lighter yellow stains can be lifted.
What is one potential side effect of teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening, especially at the dentist, can lead to sensitivity in the teeth. If this happens, you should take a break from your regimen.
Darkening of teeth
How long does it take strips to show a noticeable effect?
A few months
A few weeks
A few days
You might be able to notice some whitening after just a few days of using the strips, although the entire process takes about 14 days.
How long do whitenings from gels and strips last?
About a year
A few weeks
A few months
Typical results for strips and gels indicate about three to four months of bright pearly whites.
If you're using a dentist-supervised kit at home, you're likely using what?
A mouthpiece tray
Many times, people elect to have a mouthpiece tray made for them by their dentist. This allows for maximum contact with the teeth, and minimal contact with the gums.
A whitening pen
A mix of chemical bleaches
How long does it take whitening rinses to take effect?
Rinses are quite a bit slower than gels and strips, taking about 12 weeks to work.
How many shades can you whiten your teeth with a whitening toothpaste?
With a whitening toothpaste, you can expect about one shade brighter and whiter.
How many shades can strips and gels whiten your teeth?
One to two shades
Three to six shades
Two to four shades
Gels and strips can whiten your teeth about two to four shades, depending on how stained they are to begin with.
How effective can a professional dental whitening treatment be?
10 shades whiter
Up to eight shades whiter
It's the most expensive option, but you can get as many as eight shades whiter by going to the dentist for treatment.
Up to 12 shades whiter
How many professional dental whitening treatments does it take before you notice a change?
All it takes is just one 30 to 60 minute visit to your dentist to notice a change in your teeth color.
How expensive is professional whitening?
$50 to $100 per visit
$400 to $700 per visit
Ranging from laser treatment to gels and mouth pieces, a professional treatment will range from $400 to $700.
$800 to $1,000 per visit
True or False: Teeth whitening is still safe if you have gum disease.
You should definitely avoid teeth whitening treatment if you have some form of gum disease.
Where else might you find teeth whitening agents?
There are a few products that contain teeth whitening agents that might surprise you. Gum is one of them.
Most teeth whitening studies are performed by whom?
American Dental Association
Food and Drug Administration
Teeth Whitening Product Manufacturers
Unfortunately, it's tough to find unbiased studies, because most of those published online were performed by teeth whitening product manufacturers.
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc./Blend Images/Getty Images