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Building a better tooth whitener

Tooth whiteners that enhance your teeth’s healing ability?

You may soon find them over-the-counter in gels and strips, says one dental researcher.

Dr. Frederick Eichmiller, director of the American Dental Association's Paffenbarger Research Center, said scientists have created a "white with might" whitening formula with tooth remineralization agents.

Whitening can often open naturally occurring pores within teeth, said Dr. Eichmiller. The open tooth pores can cause temporary sensitivity to air, as well as hot and cold food and drinks.

Saliva contains minerals that teeth need to heal themselves by closing these pores-a process known as remineralization. But the process is slow. The "white with might" whitening formula replenishes essential minerals in teeth as it whitens, resulting in fewer side effects for consumers.

"It’s like having your cake and eating it, too, when it comes to tooth whitening," said Dr. Eichmiller.

Laboratory and human clinical trials on this "white with might" technology substantiate the gel's effectiveness. Currently, the whitening gel and the remineralization ingredients are stored separately and combined just before applying to teeth.

According to Dr. Eichmiller, PRC scientists are working on combining the two into a single product that could then be used in over-the-counter strips and paint-on tooth whiteners.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

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