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Teeth whitening toothpaste is one of the latest marketing tools or alleged added functions of many brands.

I have also read several blogs or journalists who have had teeth whitening laser treatment and claimed it wasn't "7 shades brighter" or whatever was claimed, essentially claiming they were fooled out of money.

Is there reliable research to back up claims by toothpaste companies or by laser whitening services?

Usually the measuring tool is a card with different shades of white and you measure yourself against one and then after a certain period of time you claim you are now x# of shades lighter.

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    never seen such research. Such things often work, a little, for a while. The toothpaste as I understand it contains an abbrasive for example that litterally scours your teeth, making them whiter but destroying the enamel in the process. After a while of course your teeth will have lost all protection and become weak and start rotting. – jwenting May 30 '11 at 6:05
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Here's an article in a peer reviewed journal (granted, not all peer-reviewed journals have the same standards) that compares the efficacy of two at-home bleaching gels (the ones you use in trays): http://jada.ada.org/content/131/9/1269.full

Both CP and HP are effective at-home bleaching agents when daytime bleaching is preferred.

I also found an entire issue of The American Journal of Dentistry (pdf) dedicated to tooth whitening (and, again, I am not a dentist nor a professional researcher, so I can't evaluate the scientific methods employed), but these appear to be valid scientific approaches).

From personal (anecdotal) experience, I've used the bleaching gels (H202 based) for years and they definitely work -- you can see the difference in pictures, for example. I use mine overnight once every 4 months or so for maintenance.

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    I did it for you, but it's usually best if you summarise what the study concluded in your answer, to save people clicking around. :) – Mike Speed Jun 1 '11 at 15:59
  • Good point -- I was somehow misreading the point of the question as asking whether scientific research had been done, not whether it worked :-) – lintqueen Jun 1 '11 at 16:18
  • @lintqueen, Link is down. Please always archive important links with web.archive.org and archive.is. – Pacerier Jun 9 '15 at 20:11

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