Sleep And Proper Nutrition Are Essential For Final Exam Success

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This article was submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine, please leave your comments below…..

sleepBefore the summer fun can begin, many students need to make it through the dreaded final exam period. According to experts at Baylor College of Medicine, putting the books and notes to the side for proper sleep and nutrition can be just as important as studying.

Studies have shown that sleep affects memory and learning and that a lack of sleep has a negative impact on things associated with learning, such as school performance in children. For teens and adolescents who persistently study late into the night and pull all-nighters to cram for an exam, it may be better to put the books down and hit the sack for a few hours to cement the knowledge into their brain, according to Dr. Philip Alapat, assistant professor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine and program director of the Baylor College of Medicine Sleep Medicine Fellowship.

So how much sleep, on average, should you be getting? The National Sleep Foundation released these recommendations in 2015:

Newborn (0-3 months): 14-17 hours

Infant (4-11 months): 12-15 hours

Toddler (1-2 years): 11-14 hours

Preschooler (3-5 years): 10-13 hours

School-aged child (6-13 years): 9-11 hours

Teen (14-17 years): 8 -10 hours

Young adult (18-25 years): 7-9 hours

Adult (26-64 years): 7-9 hours

Older adult (65+ years): 7-8 hours

Your diet also may be important for optimal academic performance.

“Your brain needs high-quality food,” said Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian with Baylor.

Make sure to have a source of protein with each meal as proteins help the timely release of carbohydrates in the body. Breakfasts should include a quality carbohydrate such as oatmeal or shredded wheat, combined with a protein such as eggs, yogurt or Canadian bacon. Another breakfast combination could include scrambled eggs, oatmeal and half of a grapefruit.

“Don’t forget that you need carbohydrates to fuel your brain, so don’t skip breakfast,” she said.

Anding suggests avoiding sugary snacks before exams – sugar on an empty stomach can cause a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar and make focus and concentration more difficult.

Also be sure to hydrate.

“We often lose our cue to drink when it’s cool outside, but making sure you are hydrated with water can improve your sense of well-being,” said Anding.

Roles Of Probiotics And Prebiotics In Colon Cancer Prevention

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By Mary Toscano

healthywordsColon cancer is linked to microbial problems in the gut. Medical science has not really come up with any definitive cure to cancer till date. However, along with regular treatments and therapies, regular intake of probiotics and prebiotics can help majorly. Taking in beneficial bacteria has proven to lower DNA damage and thus reduce the rates of colorectal cancer. Along with the intake of probiotics, it is also important to know different factors that can help like the best time to take probiotics, what probiotics to take, how much to take, etc.

Prebiotics and probiotics work simultaneously to promote good health. They work together to produce good bacteria and eliminate the bad bacteria in your digestive tract. Let’s find out as to what exactly are probiotics and prebiotics and how do they work for curing cancer and what all foods to consume to get them.

Probiotics are believed to reduce the risks of cancer significantly. They help in the following ways:

▪ Eliminating aflatoxin, a common carcinogen found in peanuts
▪ Decreasing recurrence of bladder tumors
▪ Detoxifying potential colon carcinogens
▪ Enhancing elimination of environmental toxins from the large bowel
▪ Enhancing immune cell activity

Probiotics also lessen the risk or progression of other malignancies. The combination of probiotics and prebiotics has shown to reduce cellular DNA damage that may lead to cancer and also improve immune responses largely.

Keep the bad bacteria in check

The digestive tracts in our body contain as many as 400 million different kinds of bacteria. Both bad bacteria and good bacteria exist and the bad bacteria could have some unfavorable health issues in the longer run if not checked. Poor nutrition, stress, and consumption of antibiotics are some of the circumstances that kill the good bacteria and lead to ailments such as irritable bowel movements, diarrhea, and other such issues.

Probiotic bacteria are friendly and healthy for our systems. These gut-friendly bacteria are found in fermented foods on a large scale and the topmost food being yogurt and yogurt products.

Prebiotics, as the concept goes, are not bacteria at all, but they act as food for friendly bacteria. Probiotic bacteria do not grow by itself in the human body and therefore, there is the need to consume prebiotics which lead to the generation of such healthy probiotic bacteria. The analogy works in the same way as water works for the growth and nourishment of plants.

Eat the right foods and heal the gut lining

Prebiotics come from fibers contained in some kinds of food. These fibers do not digest easily but stay in the gut and act as food which stimulates the growth of probiotic bacteria. Examples of probiotic rich foods are bananas, garlic, onions, honey, tomatoes, barley and other beans and whole grains. The importance and benefits of probiotics are increasing and more and more people are getting aware of its various positive effects. They are also added to various health drinks and foods and can also be purchased in the form of nutritional supplements additionally.

healthyplateFermented foods are an excellent source of probiotics. Make a yogurt and banana smoothie and you’re sorted on your dose of probiotics. There is no better source for such healthy probiotic bacteria than natural foods and fibers.

Studies suggest that probiotics relieve chronic diarrhea and some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Prebiotics additionally produce vitamin K which boosts the immune system, assist in the absorption of calcium and may lower the risk of colon cancer. Breast milk is rich in prebiotic content which gives the lactating babies additional protection to their immune system and also generate good bacteria. This is the reason why prebiotics are now being added to many baby foods and brands.

Thus, in addition to curing colon and other such cancers, there are various other benefits of probiotic and prebiotic foods and people need to consume these on a regular basis to eliminate any potent diseases in the body and produce and maintain these good and healthy bacteria in the system.

– Mary Toscano is a dedicated wife, a busy mom of two toddlers, an animal shelter volunteer, a health freak runner, and a passionate health and wellness blogger. All of these are her many jobs besides her day job. She aspires to having her own YouTube channel one day about healthy living and clean eating. Spending a major part of her day writing about health and wellness at she educates readers about probiotics. Her goal in life is to inspire and encourage people to take care of their bodies and health. Mary’s message to the world is, “Where there is health, there will be joy, wisdom and wealth!”

Skin Can Reflect Eating Habits

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saladplateA healthy diet does a body good inside and out, and dermatologists at Baylor College of Medicine say there is evidence that links certain foods to flares in acne.

“While there are definitely a number of triggers for acne, the connection between diet and acne is very interesting,” said Dr. Rajani Katta, professor of dermatology at Baylor. “Years back dermatologists thought the two were not linked, but now researchers say there is evidence for a link between sugar and carbohydrates and acne.”

Studies have shown that foods with a high glycemic index can affect breakouts.

“Foods high on the glycemic index, meaning foods high in refined carbohydrates such as sugar, cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels,” said Dr. Ramsey Markus, associate professor of dermatology at Baylor. ”As a result of the high blood sugar levels there is a cascade of hormones released that eventually stimulate the oil gland, leading to worsening of acne”.

High glycemic index foods include:

* White rice

* White bread

* White potatoes

One study placed participants on a low glycemic index diet for 12 weeks and during this time their acne did improve significantly, Katta said.

Other foods and factors can also aggravate acne.

“Dairy products, especially low fat milk, have been linked to acne,” Markus said. “Stress also is a big factor, as stress-related hormones trigger acne flares.”

The hormonal changes of puberty are a well-known trigger. Additionally, certain medications like lithium, medicinal steroids or anabolic steroids can lead to acne, he said.

Skin care products not designed for patients prone to acne may create a flare. Markus advises patients to look for key words such as oil-free or non-comedogenic in selecting suitable skin care products in patients who are acne prone.

Everlast Climbing Lobbies To Strengthen Physical Education

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jumpingsacsOver 300 advocates participated in the second annual Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Lobby Day to lobby for stronger physical education and Safe Routes to School funding. Everlast Climbing was especially interested in voicing support for the 2016 PE Bill SF343/HF498 which would strengthen physical education programs by adopting new standards and grade-specific benchmarks to strengthen physical education in schools. Currently, physical educators are using outdated standards from 2004. Updating the standards and benchmarks will give Minnesota schools better information to design, execute and evaluate their local curriculum.

In attendance from Everlast Climbing was Mertyce Mrvos, Coordinator of Programs and Partnerships. She met with State Representative Ron Erhardt, Senator Melisa Franzen and her Legislative Assistant, Thomas Melton. “Children who receive regular, quality physical education are 2 ½ times more likely to be active adults. They also learn more effectively and achieve more academically,” said Mrvos. “I was thrilled to see that legislators are in favor of strengthening physical education with this bill.”

Childhood obesity is a major health concern for Minnesota, with nearly 1 in 4 of its high school students being overweight or obese. Obesity is linked to 14 types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Physical activity improves health and reduces risk of these chronic diseases. Quality physical education in schools is one way to increase physical activity levels in youth. It also promotes enjoyable participation in physical activity and helps youth develop the knowledge, attitudes, motor and behavioral skills and confidence needed to improve physical fitness and adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle throughout their lifetime.

“Advocating for physical education and youth fitness is part of our company’s mission,” said Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing. “We regularly communicate the importance of physical education and are eager to play a part in strengthening physical education in our state.”

About Everlast Climbing

Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at:

Are You Aware of OCD?

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By Ajaiwant Cheema, owner of Cheema Medical Complex

didyouknow?Obsessive-compulsive disorder is explained as an anxiety disorder. The situation has two main fragments: obsessions and compulsions.


Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, descriptions, needs or doubts that frequently occur in the mind; like you have been thinking that you are contaminated by dirt and germs, or undergoing a sudden urge to hurt somebody. These obsessions are usually terrifying or seem so awful that nobody will share them with others. The obsession disturbs person’s other thoughts and makes him feel very restless. These unwanted thoughts are very distressing and affects your interaction with others and also effects on your studies and work.


Compulsions are monotonous activities that you think you have to do. This might be something like frequently checking a door to make sure it is locked or repeating a specific slogan in your mind to avoid any damage coming to a loved one. The target of a compulsion is to try and deal with the suffering caused by the obsessive thoughts and discharge the anxiety you are feeling. However, any relief you feel is often for a short-term. Getting ready, every day includes so much hand washing, mental formalities, and doing things in the same order every day.

Symptoms of OCD

Though each person will have their own involvements, there are some common obsessions and compulsions that occur as part of OCD.

1. Unwanted thoughts about harm or violence

2. Unwanted sexual feelings

3. Unwanted offensive thoughts

Causes of OCD

There are different perspectives about why OCD occurs:

1. ‘Dysfunctional’ beliefs

One philosophy suggests that OCD grows because of ‘dysfunctional’ beliefs and explanations. If you have an OCD, you might rely on that you have more responsibility for a condition than you actually do. Because of this, your reaction may go out of the way.

2. Personal experience

Some specialists’ theories advise that OCD is initiated by personal experience. Myth has been created that if you have had a painful childhood experience or suffered trauma, you might learn to use obsessions and compulsions to handle with anxiety. Conversely, this theory does not enlighten why people who cannot have any agonising experiences might experience OCD.

3. Biological factors

Some biological theories conclude that a deficiency in the brain chemical serotonin may cause OCD. However, experts disagree about it, and it is unclear either the lack of this chemical causes OCD or is the effect of having the condition. Studies have also observed at genetic factors and how different parts of the brain might be involved in causing OCD but have found nothing worth.

How to tackle with OCD?

1. Peer groups

A self-help, or peer support group, provides a chance to meet up with those persons who have suffered from the same type of issues as you. It can make you feel less isolated and give you and other group fellows a chance to share their views, feelings and experiences in coping with OCD.

2. Physical activity

Add some physical activity in your daily routine, whether it is a short walk or playing any game, can help you in improving mental wellbeing. Exercise makes you active and can distract you from unwanted thoughts.

3. Share your thoughts

It’s not that easy to discuss OCD. But if you can succeed to talk to somebody you have faith about your situation, it could help you feel better and less isolated. It can also help other people recognise your OCD nature and how they can help you.

Everlast Climbing Celebrates Its 25 Year Anniversary

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newsEverlast Climbing, a Playcore Company, is celebrating 25 years in business this year. After getting its start in Chicago as a climbing hand hold manufacturer, founder Tim Sudeith began working with schools to create low-risk climbing walls (Traverse Walls®) that are typically 8-10 feet tall for use in Physical Education classes. After receiving feedback from educators that the climbing walls were engaging students previously not interested in physical activity, Everlast Climbing moved toward developing additional products that would be attractive to more schools and other youth-serving agencies, such as community centers.

Everlast Climbing is passionate about helping kids become more active and combating childhood obesity and has developed innovative climbing walls that can be used beyond physical education classes. The invention of its Magna® and Discovery® Dry-erase Climbing walls (US Patents 7,056,266 & 7,520,838) combines movement and learning. Both climbing walls have magnetic properties and come with magnet sets and activity guides. Children are able to place magnets in a variety of ways to add learning to the climbing wall, for example, by placing word magnets next to hand holds and traversing the wall using only the holds with verbs next to them. The Discovery® Dry-erase wall also comes with dry-erase markers, adding more learning opportunities to the wall by allowing students to write while climbing. “Some schools conduct weekly spelling tests on the climbing wall, while others have students practice math facts while climbing,” said Mertyce Mrvos, Coordinator for Programs & Partnerships at Everlast Climbing. “With our climbing walls, schools can add more physical activity into the school day, beyond what children get in physical education classes.” In addition, Everlast Climbing’s walls include color-coded hand holds that vary in difficulty, allowing the climber to choose the desired challenge level.

Everlast Climbing is also known for having set the safety standard when it comes to traverse climbing in schools. The company has created many innovations, such as the Red-Relief Line®, a horizontal line of red foot holds specially designed as a reminder to climbers to keep their feet in the “safety zone,” only a few feet from the floor. Everlast Climbing developed its safety mats to meet playground industry ASTM standards for both critical fall height and protrusion protection. Further, Everlast Climbing created a Cordless Mat-locking System® (U.S Patents 7,819,778; 7,862,480 & 8,282,534) to prevent unauthorized access when the wall is not in use. Everlast Climbing holds a total of 15 patents related to safety and product innovation.

In 1997, Everlast Climbing moved its headquarters to St. Paul, MN, and then a few years later to its current location in nearby Mendota Heights. The company is proud to make “everything but the hardware” in its 36,000 square foot facility. Having the advantage of housing offices and manufacturing under one roof allows for high quality assurance. Further, Everlast Climbing completes its turn-key solutions by offering factory installation by its own team of installers.

It is clear to see the passion surrounding Everlast Climbing’s mission. “We only hire people who have that sparkle in their eyes when we talk about the impact we are having on young people,” said Tim Sudeith. “The fact that we really care about our end users comes across in everything we do and surely has contributed to our longevity as a company.” Everlast Climbing works with many organizations that are fueled by the same passions, like SHAPE America, and regularly advocates and lobbies for children’s health and physical education. Everlast Climbing was purchased by PlayCore in 2008 and has enjoyed working closely with a parent company that also values and is committed to making a positive impact on children and communities.

By offering a variety of traverse and top rope climbing walls, including specialized walls for pre-school aged children and adaptive programs, Everlast Climbing is striving to meet its goal of making climbing more accessible to all ages and abilities.

About Everlast Climbing

Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at

New Study Links Endometriosis To Higher Risk Of Heart Disease

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By Tamer Seckin, MD

didyouknow?A new study out today is linking endometriosis to a higher risk of heart disease, particularly among women aged 40 years and under. The data shows that women in this age bracket are three times more likely to develop heart attack, chest pain or blocked arteries when compared to those without endometriosis of the same age. “This should be of real concern to doctor’s treating patients with endometriosis,” said Dr. Tamer Seckin, one of a handful of gynecologic surgeons in the United States who performs deep excision of endometriosis and is the founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) with Padma Lakshmi.

The study, published today in the Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association Journal, looked at the heart risk for women with endometriosis over a 20-year period. The study followed 120,000 women, of which about nearly 12,000 had endometriosis, and found that compared to women without endometriosis women with endometriosis were 1.35 times more likely to need surgery or stenting to open blocked arteries, 1.52 times more likely to have a heart attack and nearly two times as likely to develop angina.

“Studies on endometriosis are greatly needed, and I am pleased to see this research supported by the National Institute of Health,” said Seckin. Dr. Stacey Missmer, director of epidemiologic research and reproductive medicine at Brigham’s Women’s Hospital, who co-authored the study, spoke last year at the EFA’s 6th annual medical conference held in New York City.

According to the study, researchers noted that surgical treatment of endometriosis including the removal of the uterus and ovaries possibly accounts for the higher risk of heart disease. Seckin says this has been suspected for some time and is not a surprise to him. The study also reported that surgically induced menopause before natural menopause may also be an added risk.

The peer-reviewed paper also says that there is a specific and meaningful correlation between endometriosis and coronary heart disease. Seckin believes this may be due to the confounding systemic inflammation and chronic stress and pain.

Dr. Seckin urges that removal of the uterus and/or ovaries is not the optimal treatment for women with endometriosis. That is why he opts for deep excision surgery. Excision allows the surgeon to safely and successfully remove the disease and the inflammatory tissues.

“Deep excision surgery is about removing the endometriosis tissue from the body and preserving both the reproductive organs, and any other organs affected by the disease, as endometriosis often grows outside the reproductive tract in places like the bowel and colon,” said Seckin. “Treatment should offer a woman the best chance to regain a pain-free life, lessen long-term side effects from alternative therapies used to treat symptoms, and provide an opportunity for her to have children.”

Alternative therapies can include the use of oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy and painkillers for treating patients with endometriosis. The study did account for oral contraceptive and hormone replacement exposure but could not evaluate details of other hormonal treatments or the use of painkillers.

While he is busy advocating that the reproductive organs not be removed during endometriosis treatment, Seckin also expresses concerns about the dangers of long-term usage of hormones and pain medications. “These therapies have their risks,” he added.“Whether-or-not heart disease is one of these dangers, or the disease itself is the cause has still to be determined, but this study tells us something is increasing the risk for heart disease in women with endometriosis.”

Seckin said that the study convinces him that removing the disease through minimally invasive surgery gives women the most relief from their symptoms and does not expose them to side-effects that could put their overall health at risk.

– Tamer Seckin, MD, is an endometriosis specialist and surgeon in private practice in New York at Lenox Hill Hospital. He is the founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) with Padma Lakshmi. The EFA mission is to increase disease recognition, provide advocacy, facilitate expert surgical training, and fund landmark endometriosis research. Dr. Seckin is the author of “The Doctor Will See You Now; Recognizing and Treating Endometriosis” published March 2016 by Turner Publishing.

In An Emergency At Work, Would You Know What To Do?

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workdeskBeing healthy does not make you impervious to serious accidents and injuries. In dangerous environments, caution and good judgement will get you a lot further than exercise and a healthy diet. In a typical office space, people are more concerned about health than safety, assuming there are no major safety issues in a cube farm. They couldn’t be more wrong.

There is a lot the goes into maintaining a safe workplace. However, nothing you do can eliminate all workplace risks. Sometimes bad things are going to happen. To keep things going from bad to worse, you need to know what to do in a tense situation. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Assess and Treat

Most workplace accidents are minor. But minor issues can become big issues in a hurry if left untreated. Cuts, burns, and sprains are quite common. Less common but more serious is choking. All of these things can be treated by just about anyone. What is required are basic observational skills and the application of first aid.

It is a good idea for all employees and contractors to go through first aid training. Once trained, everyone needs to know where to find first aid supplies. It is imperative that companies keep those supplies well stocked and the employees well informed.

While it is important to put burn cream on a burn, stop the bleeding, and wrap a sprain as quickly as possible, it is even more important to apply CPR in a timely manner. There may not be time to call the one person in the office who knows how to do it. Everyone needs to be empowered to assess and treat the little things so they don’t turn into big ones.

Assess and Report

Are you starting to notice a pattern? The first thing to be done in every emergency is to assess. You should never go leaping into action like Supergirl before you even know what the situation calls for. When someone is on the floor crying out in pain, you don’t know if the situation is serious or not.

Even if you are not versed in emergency protocol, there is still something useful you can do. You can ask the person about the problem. If they have a recurring condition, they will tell you what you need to know. If you can’t get useful information from the person in pain, you need to alert a supervisor about the matter.

Calling 911 should not be the first thing you do if the situation doesn’t require it. Don’t just go running and screaming and adding panic to the situation. Get useful information about the problem, then report it.

Assess and Prevent

A hazard for one person is a hazard for all. There is no reason to allow a spill to claim two victims instead of one. Part of your assessment is to see that the floor is wet. While you are on the way to the person on the floor, you should grab the safety sign and set it up so that no one else slips.

Prevention is everyone’s job. If you see a stack of cups and plates precariously balanced, you don’t stack yours on top like a game of kitchen Jenga. You make smaller stacks. Perhaps you could even start the dishwasher. If you see a spill, don’t leave it for the next person. Clean it up. If someone left a sharp knife out, put it away.

By assessing the emergency at hand, you are in a good position to prevent the next one. In an emergency, the second thing you do always depends on the first thing. And the first thing you should do is make a level-headed assessment of the situation to see if treatment or reporting is required.

Emergencies happen fast, and so do mistakes. Slow it down, figure it out. Then do the right thing.

– Submitted by Katherine Smith

Project ACES Set For May 4th

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Mark this year’s date on your calendar – May 4th

Each May, on a designated date and time, millions of school children all over the globe will exercise simultaneously in a symbolic gesture of fitness and unity to show the world that they do not fit into that negative stereotype of being “physically unfit”. This non-competitive program has proven to be educational, motivational, and fun. The program has been praised by Presidents of the United States; such as Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Ronald Reagan. The program has also received praise from Governors, Senators, and celebrities from sports and show business. Starting its 28th year, Project ACES has reached millions of children, parents and teachers all over the world, including participants from over 50 countries.

Learn more at:

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Take To Work?

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By Jesse Hughes

malesmileTeeth whitening is an excellent way of getting the pristine white smile you want. It’s a completely safe practice that will not damage your teeth or your gums. In most cases teeth whitening produces impressive results although this cannot be guaranteed. If you have decided that you went to try whitening your teeth you are probably going to want to know how long it takes before you start to see results.

There are different ways of using teeth whiteners. You can undergo teeth whitening in office or you can choose to use bleach trays at home. The best results can often be obtained from using a combination of the processes. You can start by choosing an in-office teeth whitening session which produces the quickest results. You can then keep your teeth white by using bleach trays at home as a follow-up.

What happens after an in-office treatment?

In office teeth whitening is often referred to as power bleaching and the results are noticeable more quickly than if you use trays. You will normally be able to see a significant difference immediately after the procedure is completed. Over the following twenty-four hours the results gets more noticeable as gel used to bleach the teeth seeps through the enamel. During this twenty-four hour period you should avoid any food or drink that contains coloring’s as these can have an adverse effect on the way the bleach performs. If you are wondering why you only need to do this for twenty-four hours, it’s because the bleach makes your teeth more porous for this length of time. The color of your teeth eventually settles to a subtle white color.

It’s worth noting that the bleach only works on your natural teeth; any veneers and crowns you have will remain the same color. You may find that these need updating in order to look natural against the new white coloring of your natural teeth.

How white will your teeth be?

It’s worth remembering that all teeth vary slightly in structure so there is no guarantee as to how effective the whitening will be. However, in the majority of cases you should see a significant and even whitening of your teeth. Teeth whitening is most effective on temporary staining such as that caused by food dyes, caffeine and tobacco. The effects of teeth whitening last for different lengths of time for different people. If you smoke, or drink red wine, tea or coffee then the shade of your teeth is likely to darken more quickly.

Does just using bleach trays work?

If you opt to just use bleach trays, instead of having any in-office whitening completed, you should eventually achieve the same result but it does take longer. Most people start to see a change after using the trays once or twice although a really good result usually takes at least 3-4 treatments. It’s also worth noting that results are not guaranteed as some teeth are simply resistant to whitening.

As you can see, for most people, the best results for teeth whitening are achieved by having in-office teeth whitening completed followed by using trays to top up. Results normally start to be visible immediately, although you should always remember that there is no guarantee as to how much and how quickly your teeth will whiten.