Finally, for the 4th installment of the tooth whitening section, let’s talk a bit about whitening toothpastes.

Mechanical Means

Most whitening pastes act by mechanical means.  They use an abrasive agent, usually silica, to scratch the stains off the surface of the teeth, revealing the whiter enamel underneath the stains.  This mechanical removal of stains is effective, however continued use of these pastes, or over use, can cause significant abrasion and harm to the teeth.


Other whitening toothpastes use chemicals to help whiten the teeth.  These pastes usually resort to the tried-and-tested peroxide route.  Whether it be hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, urea peroxide, they all create a chemical reaction that whitens the teeth moderately without removing any of the tooth structure.

What’s Right for You?

Which mechanism of tooth whitening toothpaste is right for you?  Well that is for you to decide.  However none of these toothpastes will be nearly as effective as an in-office whitening session with take home trays.

Stay tuned for more articles soon, and I welcome any questions.

Many major companies that you have all heard of, Colgate, Crest, etc, are now selling whitening products that you can easily purchase at your local pharmacy or grocery store.

These include non-custom trays with whitening gel, whitening strips, or whitening pastes that can be applied to the teeth in accordance with the instructions in order to whiten.

Because of the wide variety of products in this category, it is impossible to accurately review them all.  But in general, these products are a large step below in-office and custom tray whitening.  Usually the levels of whitening gel are significantly decreased, tooth contact is decreased, and overall effectiveness is thus diminished.

That is not to say that you should never use these products.  In the case of a quick touch up, nothing major, just to get your teeth to that sparkling white again after one too man cups of coffee that day, these products may be exactly what you need.

However in the case where your teeth have been tarnished by years of wear and tear, coffee, wine, and other stainers, in office teeth whitening or long-term custom tray whitening are certainly superior to these over-the-counter products.

Keep a look out for next weeks post on Whitening Toothpastes like PearlinBrite, Colgate, Arm+Hammer, and others!

The most typically recognized tooth whitening is at-home whitening with custom trays.  These trays are generally fabricated by the dentist by using an exact replica of your teeth.

Custom Whitening Tray – PROS:

A custom tray is desirable over a generic tray in that it keeps the whitening gel exactly where it is wanted, on the teeth.  Whitening gel can bleach and even burn the gums, so keeping it on the teeth only is very important.

Custom trays can be filled with either hydrogen peroxide (usually .5-1 hour use) or carbamide peroxide (usually overnight use) gels of varying percentages.  These gels are less concentrated that the gels used by dentists in order to maintain the safety of the patient.

Tray whitening at home is a great way for just about anyone to whiten their teeth, and is also great as a follow up to in-office whitening to maintain the brighter shade.

Tooth Whitening – CONS:

The main disadvantage of tooth whitening is sensitivity.  Often after whitening, pateints will experience transient sensitivity that ranges from mild to severe, hours to days.  Dr. Jan Linhart’s PearlinBrite laser whitening is specially formulated to REDUCE sensitivity, however elimination of sensitivity cannot be assured.

How to Reduce Sensitivity:

There are ways, however, to moderate and reduce sensitivity following whitening.  These include

1.) Brushing with a high fluoride/sensitivity toothpaste for a couple of weeks prior and after whitening (eg Sensodyne, Prevident 5000)

2.) Taking an OTC painkiller immediately following the procedure (eg Advil, Tylenol)

3.) Making sure to apply gel only to whites of teeth, and not exposed roots or gums

Stay tuned for part 3, at home OTC whitening products!

In-office tooth whitening is, with little questions, the most effective and quickest form of tooth whitening available to the general public.  In-office whitening usually involves applying hydrogen peroxide gel to the teeth, and then increasing their effects by activating them with light and/or lasers.

PearlinBrite Laser Whitening

PearlinBrite Laser whitening, developed by Dr. Jan Linhart, DDS, uses different percentage Hydrogen Peroxide gels, specially formulated by our own chemist, to obtain the maximum effect.  Freshness and quality of the gel is extremely important to achieve maximum whitening effect.  After the gel is applied, it is activated by two different lasers in order to increase oxidation.  This procedure was created by Dr. Linhart, from his 30 years of experience in the dental profession.

Other In-Office Options

Other in-office whitening systems, such as Zoom(R) and BriteSmile(R), also use gels and lights in the dental office to achieve whitening.

Time Requirements

In-office tooth whitening usually takes between 1-3 hours, and can significantly increase the brightness and whiteness of your teeth.

Post-Treatment Maintenance

Usually, in-office whitening is followed by at home gel applications in custom trays, which is used to touch-up and enhance the effects of the in-office system.

Our next post will talk about these at-home whitening systems, and talk about the negative effects whitening may have.

You see and hear about teeth whitening everywhere, in the paper, magazines, on the radio, and on TV.  Laser whitening, light activated whitening, take home whitening kits, whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, are all different ways that you can whiten your teeth.  But, there are significant differences between the different methods, and different end results.  Here I will break them down one by one, in a 4 part series, so that you can choose which is best for you.

Hydrogen Peroxide vs. Carbamide Peroxide

First, we need a bit of background though.  There are two main types of tooth whitening gels that are used in a variety of the whitening techniques.  They are Hydrogen Peroxide and Carbamide peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is generally used for short applications, such as a 1 hour session, and comes in ranges from 5%-20% (at home) and 20%-50% (in office) gels.  

Carbamide Peroxide

Carbamide peroxide, similarly, comes in a range of strengths for different uses, but tends to be used for longer periods, like overnight use, as it breaks down to form hydrogen peroxide.

This 4 part series, over the next week or so, will be on these topics:

1) In-office professional tooth whitening (PearlinBrite Laser Whitening, Zoom, BriteSmile, etc)

2) At-home gels (carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide with custom trays)

3) At-home OTC products (White strips, prefab trays, etc)

4) Whitening toothpastes (PearlinBrite, Crest, Colgate)

Stay tuned for part 1 in the next few days!

Dental school has been extremely busy, and every day I get to try new things, attempt new procedures, and learn new techniques.

I have already performed a couple of veneer procedures; however most patients that come in don’t know what porcelain veneers are.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are laid over the visible surfaces of teeth, usually front teeth.  These thin pieces of porcelain can change a smile from one that is dreary, dark, crooked, and decayed, into something beautiful and healthy.

They are not for everyone, and they can be expensive.  But under the right circumstances, veneers are a great way to significantly modify your smile.

Post in the comments or shoot me a message if you have any specific questions about porcelain veneers.  More posts to come soon!

Yes, you do. Implants are a revolution in dentistry. Pioneered by Dr. Leonard Linkow, implants are, in simplistic terms, screws. They are placed into the jaw where teeth are missing to act as roots. They can then be restored with crowns, dentures, or other prostheses.

Implants are truly the best way to fix a broken smile. Although bridges and dentures work, they do not have the longevity, simplicity, or ease of use that implants provide.

Have any questions on implants?  Leave them in the comments.