Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Are Teeth Whiteners Safe?

The scourge of yellow and stained teeth used be looked upon as almost a right of passage–once you became an adult, it was generally assumed your teeth would reflect the wear and tear of coffee, tea, wine, smoking, or just plain living. But less-than-pearly whites are now considered cosmetically damaging, something to be scrubbed, bleached, or zapped away. Toothpastes, gels, dentists, and even kiosks in the malls offer teeth whitening solutions. Almost all of them claim to be safe, but are they really? I’ve seen what happens when you bleach a T-shirt–it usually makes the fabric thin and weak–so what happens to our precious teeth when we bleach them back to our cream-colored past?

Fighting Tooth and Nail
Teeth whiteners work in two general ways, either through surface polishing or through bleaching the tooth and this makes all the difference in their effectiveness and side effects.

Most over-the-counter whitening toothpastes are non-bleaching, meaning they physically or chemically remove surface stains but leave the natural color of your teeth intact. They are often referred to as dentifrices and contain abrasives that polish the tooth or non-bleach chemicals, like sodium tripolyphosphate, that help remove stains. In general, whitening toothpastes can lighten the color of teeth slightly, but won’t be able to make them an entirely different color.

The other way to whiten teeth is through bleaching products, which contain peroxides that can change the intrinsic color of the tooth in addition to removing surface stains.

Many people know that brushing with a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide can help lighten teeth and this is essentially the same mechanism working in bleaching products. Over-the-counter home-based gels and solutions contain around 10 percent carbamide peroxide, which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and then bleaches the teeth.

Professionally applied teeth whiteners work in the same way, but their peroxide concentrations are higher, ranging from 15 to 35 percent. Sometimes they’re used in combination with a laser. While at-home methods usually involve strips that you’re supposed to apply for an hour or so over the course of a few weeks, professional treatment takes an hour or so. Safe or Silly?

Whitening toothpastes are generally considered safe, though people with gum or tooth erosion might want to consult a dentist before using. Teeth bleachers, on the other hand, do come with risks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hayden Panettiere Asks for Help Saving the Whales

Hayden Panettiere had already made a commitment to saving the whales, and now the Heroes star – and animal activist – is asking for your help. In a new video, Hayden Panettiere urges viewers to sign up on and select Whaleman Foundation as a charity of choice. The actress also hopes to get one million signatures for her petition to stop commercial whaling and to enforce the global whaling moratorium.

Hayden Panettiere is not just speaking out – she's also acting out. On Oct. 26, she held an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. for the Save the Whales Again campaign. "Protecting and preserving whales and dolphins is something that we're all very passionate about," she told a small crowd of people at the rally.

The gathering ended with everyone lying down on the grass to form the outline of a giant human whale and the word, "VOTE" for an aerial photo.

Last October, an arrest warrant was issued after Hayden Panettiere protested on a surfboard in Taiji, Japan. The actress was attempting to protect pilot whales caught by fishermen. – Susan Mandel and Brian Orloff

Hayden Panettiere's Father Pleads No Contest to Beating Wife

Hayden Panettiere's father pleaded no contest Thursday to misdemeanor battery for allegedly hitting his wife, and was sentenced to two years probation.

Alan Lee Panettiere, 49, also was ordered by the Beverly Hills Superior Court judge to complete 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and pay $400 in fines.

He was arrested in August at the family's West Hollywood home for investigation of striking the actress's mother, Lesley Vogel, in the face during an argument following a benefit event hosted by Hayden.

Shortly after he was released on bail, Alan Panettiere told Extra the incident was a "misunderstanding" and that "nothing actually happened." And Hayden Panettiere, 19, said, "It was blown way out of proportion by a sheriff who wanted his 15 minutes of fame."

In October, a judge issued a protective order requiring Alan Panettiere not to "harass, strike or threaten" Vogel.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Avril Lavigne - An Exclusive Wedding Ceremony on Board the 'YTL Lady'

Avril Lavigne
Set sail on a 64-foot luxurious yacht, moored off one of the most beautiful islands in the world and exchange your vows in an elegant ceremony with a few close friends. An ideal way to celebrate your special day in style.

An example scenario of the planned day...

1:30 pm
The YTL Lady, colourfully decorated with floral garlands will disembark from the Lumut Yacht Club. Captain Paul, accompanied by a Pastor or Priest and a professional photographer will sail this beautiful yacht into her homeport at Pangkor Laut Resort.

2:30 pm
Under the guidance of the Food & Beverage Director, the final touches will be added to the yacht to prepare it for the special occasion.

4:30 pm
The couple, accompanied by their personal guests and relatives will be welcomed on board for the Wedding Ceremony Cruise. (Minimum two hours) The exchange of vows takes place as the yacht cruises into the Straits of Malacca with the lush rainforest of Pangkor Laut providing a perfect backdrop for your memorable occasion.

6:45 pm
After the ceremony, guests may sit back, relax and enjoy the celebration. The YTL Lady anchors at the enchanting Emerald Bay, close enough for the wedding party to be ferried by boat to the beach near Chapman's Bar. Upon arrival on shore, guests are served a tropical welcome drink, while the resident trio serenades the couple with romantic interludes. A brilliant Sunset may provide the perfect setting for the evening's photo session.

7:45 pm
A romantic Dinner On The Rocks is a grand finale to the evening's function, as the group enjoys their pre-dinner drink whist watching the sun disappear slowly amidst the horizon. A lavish dinner is served complete with wine. Guests will leave with a truly memorable experience in Paradise.