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  • The American Dental association was founded 150 years ago, in 1859.
Lighten Up
I want to whiten my teeth, but I've never done it before. What's the best way to do it without dropping $500 at the dentist?
- Tom, Atlanta, GA
Tom's of Maine, $5
After: Go Smile AM and PM, $16 each

Since you're a virgin, you'll need to be gentle. Freshman whiteners often experience some sensitivity, according to Richard Price, DMD, of the American Dental Association. A toothpaste fortified with potassium nitrate (like Tom's of Maine) is recommended for two weeks before any treatment. While in-office treatments or custom trays offer the most profound results, Crest's new Advanced Seal strips hug teeth snugly and won't slip off onto gums. They also carry the most hydrogen-peroxide, the compound doing the bleaching. To maintain your new grill, look for a polishing toothpaste like Go Smile's citrusy-minty AM/PM line, which has the necessary fluoride, but removes surface stains from red wine or coffee. Don't worry about things like whitening mouth washes or floss. Chances are, if you can't see it, you don't need to brighten it.


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