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Study Shows Smokers Can Still Whiten Their Teeth Effectively

Every smoker knows that their habit impacts their health, but it's not easy to quit on a whim. Many people who aren't ready to give up smoking still want to look their best despite the habit and that often means searching for ways to address discolouration caused by cigarette smoke. If you're a smoker, you may wonder if it's possible for you to get whiter teeth at all because you'll be continuing to expose your smile to the tar and impurities in cigarettes during treatment. A recent study has some good news for you-it turns out that whether or not you smoke isn't likely to impact the immediate outcome of treatment with teeth whitening gel.

About the Study

The study in question was published in the Journal of the American Dental Association in April 2015. The purpose of the study was to see how smoking impacted the results possible from using at-home teeth whitening gel kits. For the trial, a team of scientists recruited 120 volunteers, half of whom smoked and half of whom did not. All of the participants had the same level of staining on their front incisors. The study participants were given a teeth whitening kit that contained carbamide peroxide and were instructed on how to use it daily. Each participant performed three weeks of treatment. At the beginning and end of the treatment and one month later, the colour of the participants' central incisors was measured with a device called a spectrophotometer. In addition, the participants were asked to keep a record of any tooth sensitivity symptoms that they experienced during treatment.

Promising Results for Smokers

At the conclusion of the study, the average whitening results across the entire group was 7.8 shade units measured with the spectrophotometer. The smokers and the nonsmokers experienced similar results with no noticeable difference in how white their teeth were as soon as the treatment ended. In addition, the smokers and the nonsmokers experienced sensitivity symptoms at a similar rate with roughly 47 percent noticing no symptoms or very mild symptoms. There was a difference, though, in the measuring results 1 month after treatment ended. The smokers' teeth were slightly darker than the non-smokers' teeth by that times.

The Biggest Takeaways

This study shows two important points for anyone who smokes and wants to use a teeth whitening kit:

1. You can smoke during the course of your treatment and can expect to get noticeable results, provided that you choose an effective at home teeth whitening kit.

2. To keep your results going strong if you continue to smoke, you'll need to perform maintenance treatments on a regular basis. Otherwise, staining can reoccur quickly.

If you're ready to whiten your smile, look for a whitening kit that contains extra whitening gel for monthly maintenance treatments. One that also includes a whitening pen can help you easily address stains that occur in between treatments. Of course, the best thing that you can do for your smile and for your health is to quit smoking, but with the right whitening gel and maintenance routine, it is possible for you to look better even if you're not ready to give up the habit.

Author - Sharron Hunt