Tooth Whitening Plaquemine LA
Tuesday: 12:00 AM -
Thursday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Accepting New Patients: Yes
5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.
Baton Rouge, LA
LSU School of Dentistry
Natural Beauty - Worry-free Tooth Whitening
By Sharon Epel
It’s the end of the day, and I’m standing in front of my bathroom mirror, painting my teeth. I dip a dainty brush into a small bottle and carefully stroke each yellowing incisor. The almost tasteless white gel fizzes up over my bared teeth, and just as quickly dissipates. I resist the urge to rinse—per the instructions on that petite bottle. But just before I switch off the bathroom light, it occurs to me that I have no idea what I’ve left to sit overnight on my teeth.
I grab the bottle again, seeking reassurance, but what I read on the label offers none: glycerin, carbopol, sodium phosphate, phosphoric acid, and—wait a minute—hydrogen peroxide. Isn’t that a free radical, one of those dangerously unmoored molecules linked to cancer and many other diseases? Could I be unwittingly releasing toxins into my body? I quickly rinse my defenseless teeth, directions be damned. Forget cleaner, brighter teeth—what am I doing to my health?
The answer surprised me. Sure, the mainstream American Dental Association okays the use of brighteners, citing research on their safety and effectiveness. But the happier news is that holistic dentists, whom you’d expect to be wary, are bullish on them, too. Not only is it absolutely safe to use teeth-bleaching products as directed, they say, but most of these dentists offer their patients the same whitening procedures.
“A lot of people are so darn skeptical of so many modalities in dentistry, and by all rights they should be,” says James Medlock, a holistic dentist in West Palm Beach. “But bleaching is one technique you don’t need to worry about. It’s hypoallergenic and very safe, too.” Victor Zeines, the holistic dentist who created the Natural Dentist line, agrees. He finds peroxide-based whiteners so effective and safe that he hasn’t bothered to develop an alternative. “Bleaching is one of the few harmless things that have come out of conventional dentistry,” he says.
Here’s why: That odd fizzing on my teeth was the hydrogen peroxide breaking down into oxygen and water. The oxygen immediately penetrated my tooth enamel and bonded to the stain molecules, lifting them and whitening my teeth. The whole process takes no longer than an instant, which explains why most peroxide-based bleaching systems require repeated applications to be effective. But the speed also explains why they’re harmless—the peroxide oxidizes and dissipates too quickly to enter the bloodstream.
“Hydrogen peroxide doesn’t remain a free radical for long because it binds so quickly with the stain molecules,” says Walter Jess Clifford, of Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing, a Colorado Springs firm that tests dental materials for immune and allergic reactions. “The mouth doesn’t absorb enough of these very weak free radicals to make a hill of beans of a difference.”
This is good news, even for those who don’t stay up at night reading ingredient labels. In the last five years, tooth whitening in this country has increased...
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