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If you’ve thought about whitening your teeth with an over-the-counter whitening product, or even seeing your dentist about a professional whitening, you may have asked yourself this question. How white is too white?

Have you seen the episode of “Friends” where Ross whitens his teeth so much that they glowed neon bright when his date turned out the lights? That is a hilarious concept for a sitcom, but you wouldn’t laugh if it happened to you in real life. You want your teeth to look natural. A change of just two or three shades can make a noticeable difference without being glaringly obvious.

Over-the-counter (OTR) teeth whitening products contain a low level of the active ingredient (hydrogen peroxide) made for tooth whitening, while an in-office visit to the dentist for professional whitening has a much higher concentration of whitening agent. Depending on the amount of discoloration and how well your teeth take to the bleaching agent, you may decide to whiten with slow-acting whiteners (OTR) over time with multiple applications, or in a one hour session at the dentist office. Again, the goal should be to achieve your individual optimum whiteness while still looking natural.

If your choice is for an in-office application, an ultraviolet light will be used to activate the bleaching process and will instantly and dramatically produce whiter teeth in one session, while a take-home whitening kit using a customized mouthpiece created by your dentist will slowly bleach your teeth only after several hours a day (or night) for around two weeks.

If you’d like more information about teeth whitening, feel free to call Dr. Thomas Puschak and our team at Family Dentistry. You can make an appointment at: 781-863-8333, or come by our office in Lexington, Massachusetts.