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whiteteeth

Whiter & Brighter: Scottsdale Dentists Break Down Teeth Whitening Products and Procedures

A great smile is one of the most effective first impressions a person can offer. It can give the sense of radiance, warmth and confidence. For the opposite sex, it is often times the most memorable feature upon meeting.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 74 percent of adults surveyed believe an unattractive smile could affect a person’s career success. When the same group was asked what they each would change about their smile, “whiter and brighter” was the most popular answer.

Flashing that sparkling white smile is no longer only attainable by the rich and famous. Practically every brand in the dental care industry has released a teeth-whitening product for consumers looking to brighten their not-so-pearly whites.

We’ve researched the options available and consulted several local dentists to find out their top picks and recommendations.

At-home teeth whitening products

The ‘do-it-yourself’ cosmetic improvement product line is expanding each and every day. We are busy people, and price and convenience are often the utmost important factors in keeping up with our hectic lifestyles.

Whitening toothpastes and rinses are the most convenient and cost efficient, averaging $5 to $10. These products are used as a replacement to your regular toothpaste and mouthwash and can remove surface stains, brightening your smile by one shade after up to 12 weeks of use.

Strips and gels both require a longer time commitment – up to two times each day for two weeks. In this case, the longer commitment means longer-lasting results, averaging up to four months. Whitening strips and gels average $10 to $60. According to Dr. Ginger Price of Ginger Price DDS Family Cosmetic Dentistry, remembering to use the strips and gels as recommended can be difficult for many, and the results may suffer with each forgotten use.

Finally, tray-based whitening products may be worn the longest – sometimes even overnight. The average price range is between $15 and $35. While effective, the tray size and shape of this over-the-counter option is not customized to a person’s mouth, which means the gel may not sit as close to the tooth’s surface as it would with a custom-fit tray from a dentist’s office.

In-office teeth whitening procedures

The higher price tag of in-office teeth whitening is reflected in the results. For those who can pencil in an hour or two in the dentist’s chair, an in-office treatment might be well worth the time and money to achieve that whiter and brighter smile.

According to Dr. Christine Kopsky-Samuel of Market Street Dental, over-the-counter products typically result in whitening a person’s teeth by one to two shades, while in-office treatments often whiten teeth five to six shades. In-office procedures may require one or several treatments and can last anywhere up to a year.

During these treatments, a trained professional applies a bleaching formula directly to the tooth’s surface. The treatment may include the use of lights, lasers or heat to reach optimal results, and custom-fit trays may be utilized for in-office treatment and at-home maintenance.

In-office procedures can range anywhere between $150 and $1000, depending on the office, type of procedure and number of treatments required.

Keep in mind

Teeth whitening is considered to be a safe procedure for people with healthy teeth and gums, and few or no crowns or fillings. Gum irritation and tooth sensitivity are the most common side effects.

While using various whitening techniques three to four times each year is considered safe, Dr. John Badolato of Studio B Smiles recommends against excessive whitening – everyday use for longer than one month.

Because teeth whitening success is unique to each individual, “A consultation with a cosmetic dentist is usually the best plan for any consumer looking to optimize results on any budget,” stated Badolato.

BEST AT-HOME TEETH WHITENING PRODUCTS

Crest Whitening strips1. Dentist Recommended: Crest Whitestrips

Cost: $30 to $60

Use: Gel-based strips; varied wear times

Expectations: Varied results seen after several days of use and lasting results for up to four months

 

Glo2. Best Results: GLO Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening

Cost: $200

Use: Tray-based whitening gel with light activity is used for eight minutes over five to 10 consecutive days.

Expectations: Up to five shades whiter

 

Listerine3. Convenience: LISTERINE Whitening Original Pre-Brush Rinse

Cost: $6

Use: Use as mouthwash for 60 second before brushing, twice daily

Expectations: One shade brighter

E.J. and Jen Hughes, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

Dynamic Duo Doing Good For Boys & Girls Clubs Of Greater Scottsdale

E.J. Hughes is a “middle kid.”

“Actually, I am the oldest of two, but I am definitely what you call a ‘middle,’ ” Hughes says.

To Hughes, a “middle kid” is neither the top 10 percent of kids who always overachieve, nor the bottom 10 percent of kids who are always in trouble. Both of these groups, according to Hughes, tend to get a lot of attention.

And then there is the other 80 percent — the middle kids.

“As a middle kid, I wasn’t quite sure where I fit all the time,” Hughes says. “Until I found the Boys & Girls Club.”

At first, Hughes mostly just played whatever Boys & Girls Club sport was being offered on any given day. However, once he hit his teens, he discovered the organization’s Keystone Club, a leadership development program focused on providing teens from 14 to 18 community service opportunities, academic success support and career preparation.

“It also didn’t hurt that there was a pretty girl in the group, Marion, who I had my eye on,” Hughes says. “Today, she is my wife and mother to our three kids.”

Through Keystone, Hughes and his team had the chance to volunteer in soup kitchens and at shelters as well as volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and raise funds to attend leadership conferences nationwide, including a trip to Washington, D.C.

Eager to touch the lives of other “middle kids” like himself, Hughes dedicated himself to the Club, first as a teen junior staff member, then as a youth development specialist, then as a branch director and finally today as director of Club services.

One of his biggest contributions to the Club has been the development of a College 101 program for high school students, which brings in guests speakers as well as community leaders and educators to help teens make decisions about life after high school.

“He certainly inspired me,” says Jen Hughes, E.J.’s younger sister, who followed in her brother’s footsteps into the Club when she was in first grade.

While E.J. first turned to sports at the Club, Jen was attracted to the many fine arts programs.

“I was the girl who would ask to go to the bathroom and then sneak into the art room for hours,” Jen says,

Like E.J., Keystone also caught her eye.

“I loved being able to volunteer in the community with all of my best friends, not to mention fund-raise for the opportunity to travel the globe as a representative of the organization,” says Jen, who worked for two years to help raise $30,000 so her team could visit Europe while in high school.

Even after she left the Valley to move to Flagstaff for college, she would come back every summer to work with the Keystone kids and in the art room.

Today, she is the art coordinator for the Club, focusing on providing kids with access to photography programs, fine arts programs and even digital art imaging programs.

“Our DigiKids ImageMakers is a program offered through the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that encourages Club members to learn and practice digital arts, including movie making, photo illustration, music making and graphic design,” Jen says. “This year marks the 10th anniversary of the National DigiKids Art Festival, and for the past three years, we have had kids place in the regional and national competitions.”

So, what’s next for this dynamic duo and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale?

“We have our inaugural Jingle and Mingle event at DC Ranch Market Street at 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, December 9,” Hughes says. “Set under the beautiful Market Street Holiday Tree, the event will offer guests the chance to sample savory bites from the culinary masterminds of North Scottsdale restaurants, including Mia Francesca, Armitage, and The Herb Box as well as sumptuous sips of holiday-themed spirits and wines provided by Southern Wine and Spirits.”

Single tickets are available at $125, with discounts on three or more, and are available at bgcs.org.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Jingle and Mingle Event

When: Sunday, December 9 from 5:30-9 p.m.
Where: DC Ranch Market Street
Cost: $125, with discounts on three or more
Web: bgcs.org