Category Archives: Teeth Whitening

How Long Should Free Teeth Whitening Last?

I went to a new dentist partly because I wasn’t happy with my old one and partly because this new one was offering free teeth whitening to new patients. I thought it would be the higher quality teeth whitening because they made the custom trays for me.

At first, I was quite pleased with how it was going and my teeth were much brighter. The gel lasted me about two weeks. Now, only a few months later, they are starting to stain again. I find it curious that they are staining right when it is time for me to go to a new appointment. Did they give me lesser quality whitening gel in order to keep my coming back?


Dear Miranda,

Teeth whitening trays
Teeth Whitening Trays

While it is true that dentists want you to come back both for their benefit and yours, it is unlikely that the gel was anything but professional strength. You saw good results after just two weeks which tells me it was the right gel.

Teeth whitening isn’t permanent and how long the teeth stay stain free depends a lot on the habits of the patient. This doesn’t just mean whether you brush regularly, which is important, but also the foods and beverages you consume.

For instance, certain beverages, such as coffee, tea, or certain wines will stain your teeth each time you consume them. If you are a smoker, that will also add to the staining. Even sauces, such as soy and curry will quickly stain your teeth. A good rule of thumb is if it will stain a white shirt, it will stain your teeth.

Keeping Them Pearly White

There are some things you can do. First, drink more water. While the water won’t whiten your teeth, it is better for both you and your teeth than coffee, tea, or alcohol. The more water you consume the better.

When you do eat or drink something that can stain your teeth, such as a delicious curry, brush your teeth afterward. Be careful though if you eat or drink anything acidic. You don’t want to brush those acids into the teeth. Neutralize those acids first by taking a quick swig of water around your mouth and then you will be fine with brushing.

Keep up your regular appointments and your dentist will very likely give you some more gel for touch ups, so keep those custom made trays. They’ll be good for years.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Premium Home Teeth Whitening

I keep receiving a Groupon order for Premium Home Teeth Whitening. Is this something worth investing in? I’ve always wanted to whiten my teeth but never really talked to my dentist about it.


Dear Amy,

teeth whitening trays
teeth bleaching trays

After looking this over, I can tell you that the whitening ingredient they use is legitimate. It will whiten your teeth. That is the good news. The only real bad news is it will not be as effective as you’d hope, even though they do have a good percentage of their active ingredient.

The reason for that is the whitening trays. Pictured above are the type of teeth whitening trays you would get with your dentist. These are custom fit to your bite. This serves to protect the whitening gel, as well as your gums.

The trays that come with this kit are not fit to your bite. It’s a DIY. This means that your saliva will leak into the trays, thereby weakening the gel. It also means some of the gel will leak out. This not only means less whitening potential for your teeth, but it can put your gums at risk. There have even been cases where patients ended up needing a root canal treatment from using an over-the-counter whitening kit.

My suggestion is you simply talk to your dentist about your desire to whiten your teeth. The cost of Premium Teeth Whitening is not that much less than what your dentist would charge you. Ask him or her if they would be willing to come down on their price a little or allow you to pay out the current cost. Most dentists are happy to find ways to help their patients afford dental work. I think you’ll end up much happier with your results that way.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Tanda Pearl Ionic Teeth Whitening

I have teeth whitening trays my dentist made for me. He told me to wear them an hour a day, but that is hurting my jaw. I saw an advertisement for the Tanda Pearl system. They report that you only need to wear their tray for 5 minutes. It only has a few reviews. I wondered if you’ve heard of it and if you know whether it works or not.


Dear Laurie,

Teeth Whitening Trays

I am glad you wrote. Looking at the product, it is just like any other run-of-the-mill whitening product, with the exception of their tray and light. As for the light, I don’t see anything in it that makes it work the way they are promoting. If it did, they could market it to dental offices and make a fortune. The fact that they are not, tells me that they do not want any professional scrutiny with it.

As for the trays, that is a bigger deal. Unlike your professional bleaching trays, these do not have individual trays. Instead, it is a single tray that you will bite onto and hold into your mouth for the five minutes. I actually think this will be worse for the jaw pain you are experiencing.

Not only will it be worse, but it will be less effective as well. The trays your dentist made for you should have been custom fit to your bite. We’ll get back to that in a moment. The trays that come with this kit are DIY. That means some of the whitening gel will be getting out and some of your saliva will be getting in. Both of these things dilute the effectiveness of your gel.

I’m going to suggest two things in your case. First, you don’t have to wear them for an hour. If they are bothering you, lower the wear time to half an hour. The second thing I would like you to do is to talk to your dentist about the pain you are experiencing. He or she can make sure they are actually fit to your bite correctly and make adjustments if they are not. Your teeth whitening will be much more effective with the gel and trays your dentist provides.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

White Spots On Teeth

My daughter had braces. When they came off there were white spots on her teeth. Our dentist suggested we have teeth whitening done to even out the whitening, but that just seems to be making it worse. What do we do?


Dear Carolyn,

Teeth Bleaching Trays

Dear Carolyn,

Your dentist may mean well, but he or she doesn’t have a good understanding of how teeth whitening works. While a cost-effective way of helping stained teeth look younger, brighter, and more attractive, it is not useful for uneven color. This is because it will whiten your teeth evenly. Her teeth will be whiter, but so will her white spots.

The spots that developed are areas of decalcification. Those are cavities. They are pretty common after braces. Teenagers don’t always get between all those wires and brackets effectively.

One thing you can try is a product called Tooth Mousse. It is designed to help remineralize those spots. That would be my first go-to.

If that doesn’t work, then you can go to a cosmetic dentist and have both microabrasion and dental bonding done on those spots.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.
Click here to learn how Dr. Peck keeps dentistry affordable.

Brown Stains from Perioplus

My dentist prescribe perioplex to me after a recent oral surgery. However, I’ve noticed my teeth are starting to stain brown. Is this from the perioplus?

Sandy M.- Oklahoma


I did some quick research and I suspect the Perioplex is the cause of your staining. It is a good antibacterial agent, but contains chlorhexidine, which can stain your teeth. Another prescription that contains chlorhexidine is Peridex.  Don’t despair though (or stop using it) because there is a solution.

I would order the toothpaste Supersmile. It contains an enzyme that breaks down the protein pellicle on your teeth. You’ll soon have your white smile back.

Supersmile is also a great toothpaste to use on cosmetic dental work, such as porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.



White spots after braces

My daughter had braces and now she has white spots on her teeth. Our dentist had recommended whitening her teeth, but my friend said that whitening won’t help because the teeth will be whiter but still be uneven in color. I know she isn’t a dentist, but is really quite bright and doesn’t usually say something she isn’t knowledgeable in. Is it possible my friend is right and my dentist is wrong?

Donna M.- Mississippi


I’m am really frustrated to say that your friend knows more than your dentist. When you have uneven tooth color, using teeth whitening just makes the difference in color more obvious.  The white spots on her teeth are decalcification that occured while wearing her braces. This happens when there are some oral hygiene issues.

There are a couple of ways to treat this. There is something called Tooth Mousse that was specifically designed for this issue. Another possible treatment is tooth bonding. The softened and decalcified enamel will be removed and then replaced with composite materials that will be bonded onto her teeth. It goes without saying that I would go to a different dentist to do this procedure.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.


Teeth whitening troubles

Can you tell me the secret to getting really white teeth. I’ve been wearing some teeth whitening trays with gel for a week and they aren’t very white yet.

Melissa- Detriot


The only secret to teeth whitening is persistence. The gel has to be in contact with your for extended periods of time. Wear the gel for as long as you’re able each day. You may even want to sleep with it. In just a few weeks, your teeth should be significantly whiter.

If you’re in a hurry to have your teeth whitened, some offices do a Zoom whitening, which will whiten your teeth in just one appointment.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

Inexpensive makeover

I need a way to makeover my smile that doesn’t cost a fortune. Any recommendations?

Syliva A. from Aberdeen, MD


One of the more affordable ways to give yourself a quick smile makeover is to use teeth whitening. The take home method doesn’t cost a fortune and you should be able to have a white smile in just a few weeks.

Of course, it will not remedy other issues you may have with your smile, such as gaps, chips, or crooked teeth. There are other methods for those type of smile makeovers, but they generally cost more. It would help if I new a specific issue you were wanting to address.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.


Whitening a porcelain Crown

If I  have a porcelain crown on one of my front teeth can I still whiten my teeth?

Sandra W. from Alabama


You can have your teeth whitened even with a porcelain crown, however you need to be aware that it will NOT whiten the crown at all. You will want your teeth the same color. The best way to handle this, is to do teeth whitening first. Then, have your crown re-done with the lab matching the porcelain to your new level of whiteness.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentists Kevin and Hillary Peck.