Health Watch - Looking Good: Whiter Teeth

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


When you attend holiday parties or get together with relatives, you want to look your best. This week on Health Watch, we'll offer some tips for improving your appearance without putting your health at risk. If you want whiter teeth, you can find help at the drugstore, but talk to your dentist first for best results. 

Dr. Kathia Steel, a dentist and oral surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says people who have lots of crowns and fillings may get different results from home tooth-whitening preparations because those materials don’t take the bleach, and bleaching your teeth could make crowns and fillings more obvious. Common side effects of bleaching include tooth sensitivity and tissue irritation, and these usually go away after the treatment stops. As an alternative to bleaching, your dentist may recommend a whitening toothpaste, which polishes teeth more effectively than regular toothpaste.

Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/oralsurgery to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in dentistry and oral surgery.


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December 2009

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