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Teeth Whitening in Japan - Get back that dazzling Grin

Remember that million-watt smile you used to have? If you’re like most of us, it isn’t as pearly white anymore. Unfortunately, what you eat, drink and smoke—including tobacco, wine, highly acidic foods and even certain medications—can severely stain your teeth. Age is also a factor, as are the naturally occurring chemical changes in the body. Not brushing and flossing regularly aggravates the problem as well. And since the change is often gradual, you may not notice how dull and discolored your teeth have become.

A visit to the dentist for a cleaning will help. However, because the enamel that covers your teeth is tough but also porous, the discoloration can go so deep that no amount of scouring will remove it.

That’s where tooth whitening—also known as dental bleaching—can make a dazzling difference. Modern tooth whitening has been around since the 1980s, and started to gain popularity in Japan around 2000. Dentists and dental clinics saw the potential, and by 2007 the treatment was widespread enough here that a “whitening coordinator” certification was created. There are now thousands of whitening coordinators—typically dental hygienists—whose task is to spread proper knowledge in Japan about tooth whitening and advise clients about the procedure.

You’ve got three basic options for whitening your teeth: in-office treatment at a dental clinic, kits for use at home, and a combination of the two. In all three cases, you should visit a dental clinic first and have a dentist or whitening coordinator outline the best course of whitening for you.

Dentists use a highly concentrated chemical gel—either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide—as a bleaching agent. The gel is usually administered along with a high-intensity laser or other light source that supercharges the chemical reaction to break apart the staining compounds. You should be aware that some people do experience some sensitivity to the chemicals used, which may require the use of a lower-concentration gel. (Home kits use a weaker gel.)

In Japan, the cost typically ranges from 20,000 to 70,000 yen for in-office procedures depending on the facility and equipment used. Home treatments can also be purchased from a dentist at various prices.

Are you a good candidate for dental bleaching? Most of us are, but if you have infected gums, significant tooth decay, or several fillings or crowns, dental bleaching may not be for you. In any case, you should get your teeth professionally cleaned, have any cavities filled, and confirm that your gums are healthy beforehand. And just so you know, the minimum age for getting whitening done in Japan is sixteen.

A great smile is a fantastic asset in every aspect of life, including business, and a great confidence booster. Please explore your options on this page and take the first step to getting your teeth pearly white again.

Tags:Tooth Whitening