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Background & Objectives

  • Tooth whitening is popular and trending
  • There are many different products / methods available
  • Tooth whitening is controversial
  • There are many internet product scams
  • Lack of customer education regarding whitening
  • Outline the various tooth whitening options of professional based products compared to over the counter/ social media advertised products
  • Serve as a reference for dental professionals in advising patients of the potential adverse effects of products and methods that lack credibility


  • Lots of information available with variability in credible evidence
  • Numerous studies are funded through the companies of whitening products, thus displaying some degree of bias
  • Poor methods and ways of testing whitening efficacy were found among the research
  • Social media advertised product websites only show positive costumer reviews compared to other forums revealing extensive negative reviews

Results / Conclusions 

  • • Professional tooth whitening is not harmful to the teeth when directions are followed correctly
    • Enamel structure is not compromised unless whitening is done excessively
    • Hydrogen / carbamide peroxide is the only agent shown to intrinsically bleach (whiten) the teeth
    • In office lights / lasers have not been shown to enhance whitening efficacy in comparison to a highly concentrated bleach alone
    • LED lights that come with at-home kits produce no effect
    • In-office and at home whitening treatments can produce comparable results
    • Most social media advertised products do not disclose their ingredients and may not even contain peroxide
    • Most social media advertised products have been shown to not produce reliable results
    • Almost all reviews/promotions of social media advertised products are funded/formulated by the company

American Dental Association (2010). Tooth whitening/bleaching: Treatment considerations for dentists and their patients. Retrieved from: Baroudi, K., & Hassan, N. A. (2014). The effect of light-activation sources on tooth bleaching. Nigerian medical journal : Journal of the Nigeria Medical Association, 55(5), 363–368. doi:10.4103/0300-1652.140316 BrightWhite Smile. (n.d.). Premium Teeth Whitening Kits. Retrieved from Carey, C. M. (2014). Clinical Focus: Tooth Whitening: What We Now Know. The Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice,