Evidence shows that older Americans are at risk for greater oral health problems than other groups because of age and the inability to get to a dentistís office due to an existing medical condition or lack of transportation.
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While bleaching is safe, it requires a dentist's supervision to ensure proper results. Not only may an over-the-counter product not work well enough, says Dr. Bromberg, but it might work too well. "There is a wide range in results when using these products without supervision," he says. "If a bleaching agent is too strong, or used for too long, teeth can wind up with an unnatural, frosty look."
Proper whitening depends upon the use of a custom-made bleaching tray, which only a dentist can properly fit. Some Internet companies sell the materials to make your own bleaching tray. But only dentists should use these materials. Without supervision and expertise, these materials can cause damage to existing dental work. "As with any dental procedure, bleaching should always be done under the supervision of a dentist," says Dr. Bromberg.
Reviewed: January 2012
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