Hollywood white smile could look 'unnatural' and harm teeth - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Hollywood white smile could look 'unnatural' and harm teeth

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From the dentist's chair to drug stores, products claim to brighten your smile to that Hollywood white, but the trend could go too far. Teeth whitening is a $14 billion dollar industry and is the most requested cosmetic dental procedure. Celebrities like Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian and Ryan Seacrest sport shining white smiles.  

"They glow," laughed Dr. Jonathon Rusnak, dentist at Robinson Dental.

"I notice their teeth and they're white. They're bright and I think people are just attracted to that," said teeth whitening fan Jessica Foster.

"I don't think they can be white enough," continued Foster.

Foster already has a pretty white smile, but she came to the dentist's office for a ZOOM whitening treatment to brighten her teeth even more.

"Teeth are one of the first things that I notice when I look at a person," said Foster.

Foster was screened by her dentist for the whitening procedure, but some people take things too far ending up with some painful side effects.

"You can bleach too much to where your teeth are very sensitive. It's kind of like shock a wave through your tooth," described Dr. Rusnak.

A shocking pain only dulled by gels you have to apply to relieve the sensitivity. Even worse...you could feel the burn.

"You can end up burning your gums," said Dr. Rusnak.

White spots can appear on your gums, literally bleach burns.

Drug store products have strict instructions dictating how often the product can be used, but some consumers ignore these warnings in favor of touch ups.

"Problem is whitening strips you put over the top of your teeth you can't really get in between your teeth, so you can get shadows," explained Dr. Rusnak.

Dentist-grade bleach is often faster that drug store brands, but the procedures need a professional to monitor the dosage.

Another popular in-office whitening trend: ZOOM. A UV light activates bleach and transforms Foster's smile several shades whiter in a couple of hours.

Experts recommend you aim for a color that matches the whites of your eyes. Anything whiter will look, "unnatural," said Dr. Rusnak.

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