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Posted on April 8, 2015
Coming home from vacation, I can’t help noticing I have beautiful children; almond, healthy
skin and a white, white smile. Our society is absolutely hooked on smiles and for good reason.
Our smiles radiate our health and attitude instantly. I get asked by lots of parents and kids (about
11 yrs old or so) about whitening in my fort collins pediatric dentistry office, and I have written
lots before about it as well.

Essentially, whitening means changing the internal color of a tooth from yellowish red or gray to
a more creamy or white appearance. This is accomplished by a hydrogen ion released from the
“bleach,” a slow release form of hydrogen peroxide, going THROUGH the enamel and altering
the dentin chemical make up. As such, teeth bleaching is harmless to enamel. Nothing new here.

WHAT IS NEW, is a recent literature review published in the Open Dentistry Journal that
compares at home bleaching to in-office light activated or LED teeth bleaching. They found the
two methods get the SAME results and the LIGHT OFFERS NO ADVANTAGE. Wow! This is
big news because some outfits charge a lot of money for this service and claim it is better and
faster than home bleaching. Really the only difference is the strength of the bleach and not the
light or fancy atmosphere. For my pediatric patients, I have long suggested a trip to the grocery
store and $40 will help you bleach just as well as a $300 custom treatment. This is also big news
because the Supreme Court recently ruled on a bleaching case brought by the North Carolina
Dental Board. The court found that the state dental board could not dictate who may bleach or
not because that would constitute a competitive monopoly on bleaching. That case has
unintended consequences of calling into question the authority of a state board to regulate a
profession. Uh, oh. Now we have big problems from an argument about bleaching that turned
out to be irrelavant! Funny how the world works sometimes. For more info on this blog or any
other topic of pediatric dentistry, email me at greg@gobiggrins.com. I love what I do and I love
helping you raise healthy, happy children! yours, Dr. Greg