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Power White: The Tanda Pearl Ionic Teeth Whitening System Works (and How)

It's expensive. It's a new technology in teeth whitening. It's supposed to play nice with sensitive teeth. Here's how it works and how it worked for me.
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Tanda Pearl mouthpiece unit_switch side

I had terribly low expectations of the Tanda Pearl Ionic Teeth Whitening System. I mean, ionic? Really? Like my flat iron? What now? And a peroxide dose low enough for sensitive teeth is supposed to get results in just five days of twice-daily five-minute sessions? Uh huh.

I whitened with trays from my dentist several years ago, and got fantastic results that lasted for nearly two years. I touch up with a full session of Crest Whitestrips occasionally, so my teeth are generally white. I deliberately held off from touch-ups in the last several months so I could try a new method of whitening, but I still didn't expect much difference. I did, however, expect my teeth to feel ouchy because they've become sensitive to bleaching.

Tanda Pearl in storage case

And I did a dumb thing. I ran out of the house with the Tanda Pearl mouthpiece unit and only one tube of peroxide gel instead of two (the instructions specify one tube of gel per side of the double-sided tray).

Yet, mind=blown. With just one five-minute session with the Tanda Pearl Ionic Teeth Whitening System ($195 including 20 tubes of whitening gel, at and, my teeth were definitely, discernibly whiter, without any ouch. And I hadn't even used it correctly.

How the Tanda Pearl Ionic Teeth Whitening System works

One of the features the Tanda Pearl sells itself on is its tray delivery system, which surrounds teeth with the bleaching gel to get the backs and into the crevices as well.* Inside the tray, small metal strips run around the base at the front and back. When each side of the tray is filled, the gel should butt up against the metal strips (so much easier when you use a tube per tray side as per the instructions -- sheesh).

Tanda Pearl mouthpiece unit_indicator light side

Once the unit is switched on (the indicator light should be green), a mild micro-current transfers from the metal to the ionic peroxide formula to kick up its whitening performance, making the six-percent peroxide dose work as if the peroxide were at a higher concentration.

No, my teeth do not feel electrocuted in any way during the treatments (#frankenwhiten!). They feel slightly warmed and cooled at the same time (the gel is minty). And three sessions later, they're aware they've been in contact with peroxide -- I feel the barest hint of sensitivity post-use. (Note: although it's marketed as being safe for sensitive teeth, a note on the box discourages those with very sensitive teeth from using it.)

My teeth are whiter. Not Ross-Gellar white -- according to cosmetic dentist Dr. Ed Philips of The Studio for Aesthetic Dentistry in Toronto, teeth can only get as white as their genetic makeup allows -- but a nice, realistic white.

How long the whitening lasts

Tanda Pearl Ionic Whitening Gel

Although impressive because it happens so quickly, the whitening results won't last as long as the results I achieved via bleaching trays from the dentist. That initial white outlasted the results I get from drugstore systems, too. (Teeth are in contact with effective peroxide levels overnight with dentist-provided treatments, vs 30 minutes or less with store-bought kits that generally have a lower percentage of peroxide.)

The Tanda Pearl folks recommend touch-up treatments every three months (booster kits of 10 tubes of gel are $50), and of course that depends on lifestyle habits. As well, Dr. Philips points out that peroxide dehydrates teeth, which makes them look whiter too. Once they rehydrate, in a matter of days, the whiteness will settle down.

Mixed reviews, but...

The Tanda Pearl is working well for me, but that doesn't mean it will for everyone (I still think Fassbender should give it a go). I've read a lot of reviews online -- they range from gush-fests to frustrated disappointment. In fact, a friend of mine had no colour change at all when she used the Tanda Pearl system, and we can't figure out why not. Apparently tetracycline stains won't bleach away, and whitening doesn't work on caps or veneers, but my friend has none of those issues. So... *shrug.*

Yet I'll still recommend the Tanda Pearl system, and to people with sensitive teeth (yep, I mean your husband, Wynne). I can do that because it's working for me, and because if you buy the kit from an approved retailer, Tanda has a "risk-free guarantee." Says so right here; call the company at 1-877-651-1177 for more details.

Have you tried the Tanda Pearl yet? What's your go-to for brighter teeth?

Whatcha doin' on September 24th around 8:45 am?
If you tune in to Canada AM, I'll be in your TV
discussing lots of other ways to whiten your smile.

*Whitestrips get the backs of the teeth to some extent too, but most people feel as though they have use a fingernail to work the strips into the grooves between their teeth.

Photos via Fujifilm Finepix F770EXR.