|It's the tooth! The cost of dental care|
For its similar benefits, Pollowitz is favorable toward
"the good, quality antibacterial mouthwashes, such as Listerine"
when used in conjunction with other dental aids.
"Unfortunately," he adds, too many people
use the mouthwash "instead of flossing and instead of brushing
as long as they should."
Basically, there are three kinds of teeth-bleaching
options: professionally done in-office; done at-home, but dentist-dispensed
and over-the-counter preparations.
In-office is priciest, roughly costing $300 to $1,000.
But as Blumenthal points out, "The dentist can give you a much
bigger bang for the buck."
What determines how dramatic the results? The strength
of the peroxide solution used (strongest in-office) and the length
of time it stays on the teeth (far less time is generally needed
in-office, because of the increased efficacy of the preparation).
Dentist-dispensed at-home regimens cost less -- approximately
$300 to $500-plus -- but will generally take longer and lack the
doctor's watchful eye during the proceedings.
Over-the-counter options are by far the cheapest (some
brands less than $20), but will generally give the least-dramatic
results -- and it's probably just you, the box and a toll-free help
so, the do-it-yourself whiteners -- whether strips, liquids or gels -- are enormously
Crest Whitestrips, launched in 2001, with $200 million
in revenue after just one year, continue to enjoy tremendous word-of-mouth
and brisk sales.
What is the ADA's take on this blizzard of
whiting out? For the record: "The ADA recommends that if you choose to use
a bleaching product you should only do so after consultation with a dentist."
the way, don't be too certain that most dentists will advise in favor of their
offerings and against the cheaper store-bought products.
"I tell patients to try Crest Whitestrips first,
and see if it works for them," says Saland, who offers one
of the dentist-dispensed at-home bleaching systems. "If it
does, there's a difference of $300."
Whatever method you choose, among the factors you
should be aware of is that such dental work as crowns and fillings
do not bleach; staining you already have may be problematic and
that sensitivity, which should be only temporary, may result.
A final thought: If you've done all due diligence,
in terms of oral care, and you still have dental problems, don't
beat yourself up for it: Genetics also play a role in whether you
have "good" teeth or "bad" teeth.
As Saland puts it: "Choose your parents well!"