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Teeth whitening is by far the #1 cosmetic dentistry procedure (estimates say it is around 100 million per year in USA alone) performed every day around the globe. There are many reasons for teeth whitening being so popular. A major reason is our desire to look more youthful. Teeth whitening can turn back the clock on your smile. The next reason and just as important is cost. Teeth whitening is one of the least expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures which allows it to be available to a wider range of patients. Teeth whitening might seem like a modern phenomena but it is not. Generations of people have been trying to brighten and whiten their smiles since the earliest days of civilization. Surprisingly, the basic ingredients used today have been around since early in the 19th century.

Marielaina Perrone DDS Teeth Whitening Las Vegas

Teeth Whitening Las Vegas

Earliest Teeth Whitening Attempts

The earliest attempts at teeth whitening were primitive to say the least. The earliest people on earth used sticks and thorns to attempt to clean their teeth. Civilization is what led to people wanting to look their best. Looking good with white teeth was considered a sign of wealth and possible nobility. The Roman empire and Egyptian empire were ahead of their times. The Romans used a paste for their teeth composed of goat’s milk and urine! While the Egyptians used pumice and wine vinegar. The Egyptians were heading in the right direction as vinegar can remove stains and pumice can smooth the surface. Around the 12th century, the medical doctors recommended a sage and salt rub for teeth whitening. By the 17th century, the local barber was called upon for dental advice. These barbers would offer services to use a metal file to roughen the surface of clients teeth and then paint on nitric acid. The idea is to roughen the surface so the nitric acid can stick and begin to remove staining. In the mid to late 18th century, oxalic acid was used for teeth whitening again by the medical community. I am sure by now you are horrified by these crude attempts at teeth whitening in ancient times. These techniques probably had limited success but caused maximum damage.

Modern Teeth Whitening Techniques

Luckily, dentistry has advanced and we have a better understanding of dental materials and dental techniques. There are various methods offered both in home and in the dental office. Below will be a review of the different teeth whitening methods available today to safely whiten your teeth.

Teeth Whitening Toothpastes. Cheapest method of teeth whitening but also the least effective with very limited teeth whitening results. There are many different teeth whitening toothpastes on the market today by various different brands. They all tout great results but in reality the results are highly variable from patient to patient. For some with light staining this method may work well enough to make you happy. While others with extensive staining they will see little to no benefit. But in the end, for a few pennies more it is worth a try as we are all brushing daily anyway!

Teeth Whitening Strips. This method is a bit more expensive than just using a teeth whitening toothpaste. These are sold over the counter at your local pharmacy or big box store. The active ingredient in teeth whitening strips is usually the same as professional teeth whitening products. However, the dosage and concentration is lowered for safety. Again these may work well for some but not so well for others. These are also harder to use as they have a bit of a learning curve with them. These teeth whitening strips must be placed evenly across all your teeth and cannot be applied to a single tooth that might need more help than the others. These have also been known to irritate the gum tissues if the placement is off or they move during use.

ProfessionaTeeth Whitening With Custom Fit Dental Trays. This is a personalized cosmetic dentistry procedure. Your dentist will evaluate your smile and create custom fir dental trays. These trays will be comfortable to wear but also evenly distribute teeth whitening gel across all teeth quite easily. This method also allows for isolation of just a few teeth if needed. These custom fit dental trays can be worn day or night usually for a period of 1-4 weeks. This option is flexible and provides excellent results. The only downside to this method vs the previous two is cost. This method will carry a higher cost but the results are far batter. Each patient will need to weigh the pros and cons of each method for what is best for their individual smile.

Teeth Whitening Performed By Your Dentist. This method carries the highest cost but also gives you the fastest, most effective results of all teeth whitening methods. This method is completed 30 minutes to an hour right in your dentist’s office. A special light and teeth whitening gel is used for this procedure. The teeth whitening gel is highly concentrated and is accelerated by the special teeth whitening light. This makes this method highly effective and very efficient. The main disadvantage is this comes with a higher cost but I am sure you can understand why.

Disadvantages Of Teeth Whitening

Tooth sensitivity and gum tissue irritation can occur in any of the teeth whitening methods listed above. If either occurs it is best to contact your dentist. They will probably recommend a visit to office to discuss options or advise to cease using the teeth whitening products for a day or two to let things settle down. Gum tissue irritation and teeth sensitivity is generally reversible. Your dentist may recommend a sensitive teeth toothpaste like sensodyne or a topical gel (orajel) to relieve gum tissue irritation.

Maintenance Tips Of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is highly effective but staining will occur again over time. Teeth whitening is not a one and done dental procedure. Touch ups will be needed over time. Below are some dental tips to maintain teeth whitening longer:

-Brush after every meal or at very least rinse mouth with water after eating and drinking.

-Floss to remove plaque foods trapped between the teeth

-Following teeth whitening it is important to limit staining foods and drink for about 2-3 days.

-Use a straw to drink fluids that can cause staining of your teeth.

-Lose the Habits like smoking and drinking which are known to stain our teeth

History Of Teeth Whitening Conclusion

Teeth whitening using modern dental materials has proven to safe and highly effective in whitening our smiles. The limited drawbacks can be overcome and should not hinder the desire for a whiter, more youthful smile.




Our smile is an important part of who we are. It is the first thing people notice when we meet. Therefore more people want a white, bright smile to feel good about themselves. Teeth whitening products have become very popular including teeth whitening strips. But are they safe to use? New studies reveal they may not be safe.

Our teeth are not all uniformly white and vary from individual to individual naturally. The reality is most teeth are different hues and shades and many tend towards the yellow spectrum. In the western world, we want uniform white teeth. It has become a symbol of beauty for many. It is believed somewhere around 40 million people in the USA alone used teeth whitening products in 2018. This shows teeth whitening popularity in just the United States. Cosmetic dentists are uniquely prepared to give patients the smile they want. However, many may choose to use over the counter products like teeth whitening strips.

Dangers Of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening gels contain an active teeth whitening ingredient (usually carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide) that has the ability to penetrate your enamel to get to discolored molecules. Oxygen molecules from the whitening agents mix and react with the discolored molecules in your teeth, breaking the bonds that hold them together. The oxygen molecules spread, whitening the entire surface of the tooth. As a result, you are left with a brighter, whiter smile.

Numerous studies have shown that teeth whitening with bleaching products that contain hydrogen peroxide can possibly cause damage to our teeth. These studies specifically looked at how teeth whitening strips, which people can buy at local pharmacies, damage one of the teeth’s three layers.

Teeth whitening strips generally contain hydrogen peroxide as the main active whitening ingredient. This substance is an oxidizing agent that can be used as a sterilizer, although more people may know it as a color-lightening agent. This is also what is used to bleach hair. If a person were to overuse this product or use too much to lighten hair color, it can cause “significant damage” to the scalp and hair.

Researchers have discovered how hydrogen peroxide damages dentin (layer just below the enamel of our teeth). A human tooth contains three (3) different layers: external enamel layer, a dentin layer in the middle, and an inner layer that is mainly connective tissue, which helps maintain the tooth’s position in the mouth.

 Hydrogen peroxide can go right through the enamel and penetrate the dentin, which contains about 90–95 percent of the protein collagen.The research team found that the collagen present in dentin becomes fragmented when exposed to hydrogen peroxide, which leads to the loss of collagen mass in the dentin layer. The scientists are unsure at this time whether this damage is permanent or if there is any way of reversing it. In future research, the researchers also plan to find out whether hydrogen peroxide affects not just collagen, but also other proteins that dentin contains.

Teeth Whitening Strips Conclusion

The main takeaway from this research is to use these products in moderation and under the supervision of a well trained cosmetic dentist. This will ensure you get the smile you want and desrve and also maintain a healthy smile that looks good!


We all have those times when we are seeking some kind of life change. It can make a difference to shake things up, and to gain a new lease on life. But finding that source of renewed enthusiasm can be easier said than done. What if a dramatic transformation were possible with just one simple visit to the dentist’s office? Teeth whitening offers that significant change. Don’t underestimate the changes a brighter smile could bring into your life. Read on for a preview of your potential post-whitening experience.

Teeth whitening has become a routine practice for many. They have found that the  benefits of a white smile are worth the effort. Below you will find some of the best reasons to whiten your smile.

Can Whiter Teeth Change Your Life?

While teeth whitening alone will not change your life it can be the start along a path of feeling better about yourself. So what can teeth whitening do for you?

-Increased Self Confidence. Studies have shown the better we feel about ourselves in front of the mirror, the more confidence we will portray to others when we venture out into the world. When you look good, you will feel good about yourself.

-Healthier Appearance. When we have a whiter, youthful looking smile it conveys health to others. Studies have shown that a person’s smile is a big influencer in how we are perceived on a first impression. It also shows others you take pride in your appearance.

-Stand Out In A Crowd. A whiter, brighter smile will draw others attention to you.

-Increased Business. When a person has a bright, white smile they tell the world they are ready for success.  Once you are feeling better about yourself, you will see a boost in work performance as well.

Recent Research

In 2007, Loyola Marymount University carried out a series of three studies regarding teeth whitening and the results confirm the previous statements.

1st study examined men and women going for a simulated job interview, with the interviewers being in qualified human resource positions. The interviewees were randomly selected from a wide range of people. Some of the subjects had previously whitened their teeth, and others had not. The results of the study showed that more people who had whitened their teeth were given a job (58% to whitened Vs.42% to non whitened), and the tooth whitened subjects were offered higher salaries (53% to whitened Vs. 47% to non whitened).

2nd study examined people going on a simulated date, again with some subjects having had tooth whitening and others not. This study revealed a similar pattern with more of the tooth whitened people being asked for a follow up date.

3rd study showed subjects various pictures of people and were asked to rate quality and attributes for each person. The results showed improved perceived qualities for the tooth whitened group over the non tooth whitened group. The personal qualities deemed to be better in the group with whitened teeth were trustworthiness, increased professionalism, confident and outgoing, seen as having professional success and financial success.

Teeth Whitening Methods

The various methods all have the same goal in common, to make your teeth whiter. Some are able to be done on your own and others are done under the supervision of a dentist.

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste. This method is probably the cheapest and easiest to use. It is easy because it is something we already should be doing every day, at least twice a day….tooth brushing. Many toothpastes now include teeth whitening agents, or strong stain removers to help you achieve a whiter, brighter smile. Unfortunately, teeth whitening tooth pastes have variable results from person to person. If you have very deep staining, these toothpastes may not work as well for you. Long term use may cause sensitivity, so use as directed.

Teeth Whitening Strips/ Whitening Pens. This method costs a little bit more and can give better results. You can buy a box of Whitening Strips, gel pens or Trays over-the-counter at your local drug store or at the dental office. It is important to Check the expiration date on this product as it does have an effect on the whitening agent. The active teeth whitening ingredients in the strips and pens are the same as dentists use in their professional teeth whitening procedures however, the concentration of the teeth whitening agent in the store bought products is at a much lower level. The lower concentration may not get your teeth to whiten as much as you would like. The other drawback is the strips and pen may be difficult to place and may be messy. The strips must be placed across all the teeth, and cannot be directly applied to one that is stained more. The fit is not great, and they may irritate oral tissues.

Teeth Whitening With Custom Trays. This method is done through the supervision of your dentist. The whitening trays are fabricated to custom fit your mouth comfortably and allow for an even distribution of the teeth whitening gel across all teeth or only applied to specific teeth. The trays can be worn day or night (even comfortable during sleeping) over a period of one to 4 weeks, and are very convenient for busy schedules. The other advantage is that this type of teeth whitening will use stronger whitening agent. The main disadvantage to this type of teeth whitening vs the at home techniques is that it costs more, and sensitivity may be greater, but the results are better.

In Office Teeth Whitening. This is the highest cost, fastest, and generally most effective Teeth Whitening option. This procedure is performed by the dentist using a special light and teeth whitening gel. This type of whitening can deliver fantastic results in as little as 1/2 to one hour. This technique utilizes a highly concentrated whitening agent  accelerated by heat and light  to speed up the Teeth Whitening process.

Teeth Whitening Conclusion

If you have ever considered teeth whitening, now might be the opportunity to take the leap and have a new smile. Teeth whitening is a simple procedure that can give you maximum results. Talk to your dentist before whitening. You may have dental fillings, surface irregularities, or dental crowns that will stand out if not addressed before beginning teeth whitening procedures. Decide which procedure is best for you and enjoy your new white smile.



Whiter teeth have been a hallmark of youth and health for many years. Over the last 15 years or so, many different methods and products have come to market to allow everyone to achieve the goal of a whiter smile if they so choose. There are so many different methods it is not always easy to choose the one that is right for you. Below you will find a detailed description of each type of teeth whitening to help make your choice easier.

Teeth Whitening Methods

The various methods all have the same goal in common, to make your teeth whiter. Some are done on your own and others are done under the supervision of a dentist.

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste ($5-$12 per tube). This method is probably the cheapest and easiest to use. It is easy because it is something we do every day at least twice a day….tooth brushing. Many toothpastes now incorporate teeth whitening agents to help you achieve a whiter, brighter smile. Unfortunately, teeth whitening tooth pastes have their drawbacks. The results are very variable from person to person. If you have very deep staining, these toothpastes may not work as well as for someone who has very light staining. However, as mentioned earlier, we are brushing anyway, so why not give it a try and see what the results may bring for your particular smile.

Teeth Whitening Strips/ Gel Pens ($20-$55 per box). This method costs a little bit more and can give very good results as well. You can buy a box of Whitening Strips, gel pens or Trays over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. Check the expiration date on this product as it does matter. The active teeth whitening ingredients in the strips and gels are the same as dentists use in their professional teeth whitening procedures however, the concentration of the teeth whitening agent in the store bought products is at a much lower level. The lower concentration may not get your teeth to whiten as much as you’d like. The other drawback is the application of the strips and gels. The strips must be placed across all the teeth, and cannot be directly applied to one that is stained more. The fit is not great, and they may irritate gum tissues. The gels can be messy, and may be uncomfortable to swallow.

Teeth Whitening W/ Custom Trays ($200-$500). This method is done through your dentist‘s office. The trays are made to custom fit your mouth comfortably and allow for an even distribution of the teeth whitening gel across all teeth or only applied to specific teeth. The trays can be worn day or night (even while sleeping) over a period of one to 4 weeks, and are very convenient for busy schedules. The other advantage is that this type of teeth whitening will use stronger whitening agent. The main disadvantage to this type of teeth whitening vs the at home techniques is that it costs more, and sensitivity may be greater, but the results are better.

In Office Teeth Whitening ($300-$800). This is the highest cost, fastest, and generally most effective Teeth Whitening option. This procedure is performed by the dentist using a special light and teeth whitening gel. This type of whitening can deliver fantastic results in as little as 1/2 to one hour. This technique utilizes a highly concentrated whitening agent  accelerated by heat and light  to speed up the Teeth Whitening process. The disadvantages are, you have no idea what the results will be in the one hour, and the higher cost of  Teeth Whitening.

Teeth Whitening Conclusion

As you can see above there are many choices available for teeth whitening. Discuss the various options for teeth whitening with your dentist to see what would work best for you. Teeth whitening is a rapidly growing trend. Be financially and proceduraly aware when choosing the best option for your smile.