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White Smile

The pH of Tray Whitening Gels

We discussed last week that more acidic tooth whitening gels produce increased tooth sensitivity and are a little more harsh on your teeth in general. This concept is even more important with at-home tray whitening because trays are occasionally worn for several hours and the tooth whitening gels will be in contact with your teeth for quite some time.

You’ll notice in the table below that some of the experimentally tested pH values don’t quite match up with the pH values provided by the companies in the products’ material safety data sheets. Some of the difference is just manufacturing variation, but it is also due to the breakdown of the active bleaching agents in storage since carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide produce alkaline byproducts after they react. Refrigeration can slow the breakdown of tooth whitening gels, so it is best to store them in your refrigerator to maintain their shelf life.

Although it is best to use a tooth whitening gel that has a pH of 7 or above, many of the products with alkaline pH’s are not available in the US or have been discontinued (though I’m not sure why). The best alternatives are carbamide peroxide whitening gels that have a pH just below 7 because carbamide peroxide produces alkaline byproducts that raise the pH during whitening quickly, or tooth whitening gels close to a pH of 7 that have added calcium in their formulation like the ACP products offered by Philips Oral Healthcare.

At-Home Tray Whitening Products

ManufacturerWhitening ProductWhitening Agent Concentration (%)Tested pHMSDS pH
PhilipsDayWhite ACP7.5-9.5% HP7.5-7.7~6.2
PhilipsDayWhite ACP 38% Fluoride12.28% HP; 5.16% CP3.75-4.5
PhilipsNightWhite ACP10-22% HP~6.5
PhilipsNightWhite Turbo ACP (discont.)6.0% HP~7.5
PhilipsBriteSmile To Go™ Whitening Gel5-6% HP6.4-6.6
UltradentOpalescence PF 20%20% CP~6.5
UltradentOpalescence PF 35%35% CP5.6-7.2
UltradentOpalescence PF 10%10% CP6.8~6.5
UltradentTresWhite HP PF 15%13% HP; 7.5% CP5.8-7.2
UltradentTresWhite HP PF 10%7.8% HP; 7.5% CP5.8-7.2
Evolve Dental TechnologiesKOR Whitening10%HP~6.5
PremierPerfecta Carbamide Peroxide11-21% CP~6.5
PremierPerfecta Bravo9% HP6.3-6.7
PremierPerfecta Rev14% HP5.5-5.8
DentsplyNuPro White Gold15% CP5.7-6.5
SDIPoladay7.5-9.5% HP5.9-6.1
SDIPolanight10% CP6.11-6.9
KettenbachVisalys 7.5 (Europe)7.5% HP10.789.5
KettenbachVisalys 13.5 (Europe)13.5% HP6.155.8
Ivoclar VivadentVivaStyle 10-16%10-16% CP5.0-6.5


Embrace your ideal smile! Schedule your orthodontist appointment today and embark on the path to a healthier smile right away.

Scott Frey

Scott Frey is a renowned Orthodontist, professional speaker, and founder of the More than Smiles Movement.