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Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /home2/chic5563/public_html/JD/wp-includes/classes.php on line 678 » Blog Archive » The Quest for the Whitest Teeth

The Quest for the Whitest Teeth

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Have you ever really wanted a perfect “Hollywood”, attention-grabbing type of smile with super white teeth? You are not alone!

Teeth Whitening

It is estimated that over 10 million Americans will spend over 2 billion dollars on teeth whitening products and services in 2008.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic procedure done by dentists and this only accounts for a small fraction of the total industry revenue. The majority of people prefer over-the-counter teeth whitening products which available at your local pharmacy or grocery store. But do they work?

Need for Teeth Whitening

The problem is that tooth enamel is porous, which means staining agents can work their way down into the tooth, where you cannot scrape them away. These deeper stains are harmless, but many people find them unattractive.

Porous Tooth Enamel

This is why people need teeth whiteners. These whiteners use bleaching chemicals to get down into the tooth enamel and set off a chemical oxidation reaction which breaks apart the staining compounds.

Whitening Pen

Most teeth whiteners use one of two chemical agents: carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide (hair bleach). When used in the mouth, carbamide peroxide breaks down into hydrogen peroxide. So even with carbamide peroxide - hydrogen peroxide is the actual active whitening ingredient.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Your dentist can whiten your teeth through a mixture of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, tailored to meet your needs. He may want to do all the treatments in his office or he might make a mold of your teeth and have you do the treatments yourself at home. Before the tooth whitening treatment, most dentists clean the teeth, fill any cavities, and make sure the patient’s gums are healthy. This is very important because teeth whitening is much more effective on cleaner teeth!

Dentist Whitening

Most professional systems use 15 to 35 percent hydrogen peroxide gels, sometimes coupled with a high intensity light to expedite the bleaching chemical reaction. However some recent research has questioned the effectiveness of the light sources used during in-office tooth whitening and says that it does next to nothing.

Dentist Whitening Light

These in-office procedures involves the dentist gently cleaning your teeth with pumice and then putting a protective barrier on the gums. The dentist then places hydrogen peroxide paste on the teeth for several minutes, rinses it off, and usually reapplies it several times. The procedure can achieve about four to six shades of whitening after only one 40-minute treatment.

Before and After Dental Whitening

The at-home systems on the other hand will often use 10 to 20 percent carbamide peroxide gels that also contain glycerin, carbomer, sodium hydroxide, water, and flavoring agents. Some gels that contain more than 10 percent carbamide peroxide will also include sodium fluoride to reduce sensitivity and strengthen teeth.

Dentist Whitening MoldsWhitening Solution

To begin the at-home procedure, the dentist takes impressions (molds) of your mouth, and then has soft, custom mouth trays made. To administer the treatment, you put a thin ribbon of the gel into the tray and wear it for two hours during the day, or while sleeping. Most whitening occurs in the first two weeks. However in some cases, trays may need to be worn for up to six weeks. Using a combination of in-office and at-home systems can achieve up to 12 to 15 shades of whitening with some people.

The disadvantages of dentist whitening solutions include higher cost and longer time required to get started. They entire procedure can cost between $300-$1,000 and sometimes more. There may also be a wait to get started. You have to schedule an appointment, wait to be seen, and then be treated.

Over-the-Counter Whitening

Over-the-counter teeth whitening also products also involve the use of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide except in weaker concentrations. However, if you plan on using these products, it’s very important to have your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygenist before you start using these products. The results will be far better with cleaner teeth.

Teeth Whitening Products

There is a wide range of home whitening products available. The most popular home whitening products range from rom plastic teeth molds and carbamide or hydrogen peroxide gels to hydrogen peroxide containing polyethylene strips. These products are effective to different degrees. However, don’t expect amazing results.

Teeth Whitening Results

Only expect to get 5 shades whiter from these at over-the-counter products best case scenario. Below are my ratings for some of the different products that I have tested. The point systems indicate how many shades whiter I was able to make my teeth using these products.

WorkFullWorkFullWorkFullWorkFullWorkGray - Crest Whitestrips Supreme
AgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeGray - MetaTray Whitening System
WorkFullWorkFullWorkFullWorkHalfWorkGray - Crest Whitestrips Daily Multicare
AgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeHalfAgreeGray - Opalescence Xtra Boost Teeth Whitening System
WorkFullWorkFullWorkFullWorkHalfWorkGray - Rembrandt Plus Superior Bleaching System
AgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeHalfAgreeGray - Rembrandt Whitening Strips
WorkFullWorkFullWorkFullWorkGrayWorkGray - Crest Whitestrips Premium Plus
AgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeGrayAgreeGray - iWhite Maintenance Stick
WorkFullWorkFullWorkHalfWorkGrayWorkGray - BriteSmile Teeth Whitening System
AgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeHalfAgreeGrayAgreeGray - Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips
WorkFullWorkFullWorkGrayWorkGrayWorkGray - BriteSmile To Go Whitening Pen
AgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeGrayAgreeGrayAgreeGray - Rembrandt In-Office Whitening System
WorkFullWorkFullWorkGrayWorkGrayWorkGray - iWhite Light Activated Teeth Whitening Kit
AgreeFullAgreeFullAgreeGrayAgreeGrayAgreeGray - Zoom Teeth Whitening System
WorkFullWorkHalfWorkGrayWorkGrayWorkGray - Aquafresh White Trays
AgreeFullAgreeGrayAgreeGrayAgreeGrayAgreeGray - Rembrandt 2 Hour White
WorkFullWorkGrayWorkGrayWorkGrayWorkGray - Rembrandt Quick White Speed Whitening
AgreeFullAgreeGrayAgreeGrayAgreeGrayAgreeGray - Zoom 2 Teeth Whitening System

The main benefit of these over-the-counter teeth whitening products are the cost. Few cost more than $35, and some are even less than $10. Another benefit is their availability. All you need to do is go to your local drugstore and you can start whitening your teeth right away. However these products only work to a very limited degree.

Teeth Whitening Spas

Brite Smile Teeth Whitening Spa

Brite Smile is a teeth whitening spa which offers one hour spa treatments that can get you up to 14 shades whiter with only a single one hour visit. They claim that the results last for years. This entire professional spa is dedicated to providing their clients with the latest state-of-the-art teeth whitening technology. They seem to have great results, however the prices is kind of steep, expect to pay $399-600 for a single visit.


The Brite Smile company is doing really well and they now have 16 spas in major cities across the United States. These spas seem to be the latest craze with the teeth whitening crowd.

Best Overall Whitening Product

Based on my experience, the best overall teeth whitening solution is the professional dental bleaching system provided by Direct White.

Dental Lab

Direct White creates all their mouthpieces at a dental lab using impressions of your teeth that you made at home and are very comfortable to wear and minimize gum sensitivity. The process is simple and doesn’t taste bad. I was also able to make my teeth at least 10 shades whiter with this product!

Making a Teeth Whitening Mold

This solution has the best results (10 shades whiter) for the lowest price ($59-79). You cannot beat their effectiveness for anywhere near the cost.

Whitened Teeth - Before and After

With their teeth whitening solution you are sent an impression kit in the mail that you use to make an impression of your own teeth. You then send this impression of your own teeth back to them in the pre-addressed packing envelope provided with your kit. Once they receive the impression of your teeth, their team of dentists will make a plastic mold of your teeth using the impression that you send to them. Within 7-10 days you will receive a plastic mold of teeth and a few syringes of tooth whitening solution that you can use to whiten your teeth.

Direct White Kit

These kits will literally save you hundreds of dollars if you went to your dentist to get your teeth whitened. They eliminate the middle man and give you direct access to the manufacturer who makes these for thousands of dentists across America. We believe this is the best value on the market for the results you get! They also offer a no questions asked 100% results satisfaction warranty.

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Comment by Sandy
2008-01-31 18:24:45

So Direct White seems to be the best deal for teeth whitening out there? I have used over the counter products and whitening at my dentist and I have found that the dentist works so much better.

I think that something like direct white would work good.

Comment by ian
2008-01-31 20:09:04

some of these tooth whitening products are little more than putting white out on your teeth. you need to reapply them through out the day to keep the same degree of whiteness.

Comment by Kara Jaurique
2008-02-01 00:36:11

I don’t understand why it’s so important to make an exact mold of your teeth to use as a whitening tray. Does anyone know?

Wouldn’t a regular mold work just as good as a custom made mold of your own teeth?

Please explain this to me. Thanks.

Comment by Jake
2008-02-04 22:20:57

I think that the teeth whitening molds need to be exact so that they evenly distribute the bleaching agent across your teeth.

Comment by JR
2008-02-09 21:58:47

Great article. A wonderful follow up article would be a discussion about veneers.

Comment by Ted
2008-02-25 15:53:17

I am sending away for the Direct White set right now. What is the difference between the two different types of whitening molds, do you know? Is it better to get the lower concentration that you put in for 90 mins or the higher concentration for 30 min?

2009-05-07 17:17:41

I would definitely like to try out one of these Brite smile Spas

Comment by Beth
2009-05-08 17:54:38

You seem to like Spas, regardless of whether they are teeth whitening spas or just backyard hottub spas!

Comment by Dalvir Pannu
2010-08-11 04:16:20

Dalvir Pannu, DDS is a dentist practicing in Bay Area, California. To learn more about Dr Pannu and his services, please visit His offices can be reached at (510) 792-9292.

Comment by Sarah
2010-10-09 23:07:09

I’ve used this, it works well, my dentist was offering it for free with a first visit, so I signed up and had my teeth cleaned and had free whitening.

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Whitening toothpastes have been criticised for containing abrasive particles which can wear tooth enamel away, and some researchers say that hydrogen peroxide, the most commonly used bleachingagent, may be carcinogenic and weaken teeth.”;;,

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