Celebrity Smile Secrets

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From images of celebrities with gleaming grins to advertisements for at-home bleaching kits at every turn, the most desirable level of whiteness keeps getting brighter. But the fact is, the level of white that you can achieve may be limited by both genetic and lifestyle factors that play a major role in the color of your teeth. “The starting condition of the enamel is a major determining factor in how white the teeth can get,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, DDS.

For optimal results, look no further than your cosmetic dentist. Professional whitening treatments—including custom trays made by a dentist for at-home use—penetrate deeper to whiten the teeth and the results also last longer than those seen with drugstore-bought counterparts. Another reason professional treatments are superior to store-bought strips is because the entire tooth is exposed to the whitening gel. “Strips can whiten the surfaces of the teeth, but they don’t really get into every nook and cranny,” says New York cosmetic dentist Timothy Chase, DMD. Many strips only bleach the fronts of the teeth, but since teeth are translucent it’s important to address both the front and the back—which trays do. But over-the-counter strips can play a role in keeping your smile bright. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, cosmetic dentist Nadja Horst, DMD says, “They can be used to touch up and prolong the effects of in-office whitening or at-home trays.”

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