I attached this to a cigar review a while back but thought it needed a wider audience.
And now for something of a public service announcement:
I saw this tooth whitening product (Power Swabs) on TV last week and wondered if it was legit.
So, I turned to the Wizard of Dentistry, Dr. Rod Kurthy (PerfecDraw), for advice. He wrote back with this manifesto and I got his approval to publish it.
Now, I have a personal relationship with Rod as we are the same age and grew up together in Long Beach, CA. Although, the years have not been kind to Rod and looks 10 years older than me. Did I mention that he loves The Eagles? Still, he is my brother from another mother.
Rod is what I call a Triple A type personality. While I was playing rock n roll, Rod was busy inventing dental tools, procedures and products that are now used by every dentist in the world. He is in a constant state of inventing dental applications. And lucky for us cigar smokers, he applied that OCD into the invention of the PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and several other things we all own and cherish. Last year, he won the Best Cigar Accessory of 2018 from Cigar Journal Magazine. The award ceremony was in Dortmund, Germany…and he did not invite me.
Rod is the inventor of KöR® Whitening (I added a link that describes the process) and had plenty to say about the state of affairs of supposed whitening procedures and whitening toothpastes. I thought I would pass it on as I found it very informative.
“Yes, I am very familiar with Power Swabs. The original owners tried to convince me to buy their company. I don’t know how many times that company has been sold, but I’ve received questions from other companies that have considered buying it over several years.
The idea of Power Swabs sounds great to the layperson and even investment firms on the surface, because those people just don’t know the science.
Let me first give you some background and some terminology:
Whitening toothpaste is, for the most part B.S…period. There are three formal categories of so-called whitening toothpaste:
1) Toothpaste that will remove surface stain via abrasive. This pretty much describes every toothpaste on the market. But some choose to call their toothpaste a “whitening toothpaste”. It’s all marketing spin. Most companies that sell toothpaste have several versions, and even have the toothpastes made by their offshoot companies so that it appears that these are different brands. So, they want to cover the market. Some people want whitening, and some don’t. Some want low abrasion, and some don’t care. Some want this taste or that. So, they try to cover the market. Bottom line is that these toothpastes do NOT whitening the actual color of the teeth. They supposedly remove surface stain to make the teeth “appear” whiter. But again, all toothpastes could make that claim if they wanted to as far as their marketing spin.
2) Toothpaste that removes surface stain via a chemical dissolving of stain. Such as Rembrandt Toothpaste. It uses papain, which is a proteolytic enzyme (dissolves organic molecules) that is totally natural and comes from the papaya fruit. It is actually most commonly used as a meat tenderizer. I am a HUGE fan of use of papain in toothpastes. But only one currently uses it, and that’s the regular Rembrandt Toothpaste, which, in my opinion, is the best overall toothpaste on the market. However, just using papain will only remove surface stains, and stains only a few microns into the tooth structure.
3) Toothpastes that actually have active peroxide to get into tooth structure and actually have some effect to whiten the actual structure of the teeth. It’s important to note that several of the so-called whitening toothpastes in category 1) above, will claim they have peroxide in the toothpaste – which technically is true. Problem is that it’s not “active” peroxide. Instead, it is insoluble salts of peroxide which to nothing more than act as an abrasive – but it’s GREAT to use to spin the marketing.
Actually, Rembrandt toothpaste fits into both category 2 and 3. It has papain (which they call Citroxain as a proprietary name) AND has 10% ACTIVE carbamide peroxide. But still, there is not all THAT much whitening effect. Although it’s very good, in terms of whiteness, for people who’ve had their teeth genuinely whitened, to help in the maintenance of the whiteness.
So now…the Power Swabs. They use a chemical that sorta’ acts like papain. It has a very low surface tension, so will get a few microns into the teeth and remove stain. It will remove some of the stain on the surface of the teeth and just a tiny, tiny, tiny few microns into the tooth structure. So, Power Swabs have been marketed simply for whitening, which is total crap. It was originally intended simply as a precursor of formal whitening. Gee, it sounds good – you use the Power Swabs to really clean the surface of the tooth and a few microns into the tooth, which makes the whitening work A LOT, LOT, LOT, LOT better!!!! That’s just plain Wrong! Sounds good; but is a total waste of time. I’ll tell you why below.
Do you know what chemical on the face of the planet will clean stain off teeth the best? Get ready…PEROXIDE! (like the stuff in teeth whitening gels) So, let me get this straight. They’re saying to first use their Power Swabs to clean the teeth BEFORE using peroxide whitening gel on the teeth (and keep in mind that I strongly believe that Power Swabs don’t even work as well as peroxide). And THEN use peroxide whitening gel to whiten the teeth?
Makes no sense.
Keep in mind that many on the corporate side of the dental industry think of me as the leading teeth whitening expert in the world. And the same thing applies to the dentist side of the dental industry. I’ve been involved in teeth whitening science and development since 1977, which I believe is longer than anyone else on the planet.
So, you can imagine, over the past 15 years since these things have been around, I have been contacted so many times by not only dentists, but by various big dental product companies and people looking to buy that company, to ask my opinion. And as always, I figure that I’m not going to get egg on my face, so I give anyone my honest opinion – that they’re total b******t.” And YES, I HAVE clinically tested it. I performed clinical studies using Power Swabs on one side of the patient’s mouth, and then whitening all of the teeth. I found absolutely ZERO difference on both sides of every patient’s mouth, which indicates that the Power Swabs were entirely unnecessary.”
Thank you, Dr. Rod.
So now, dear readers, you have the benefit of an expert’s opinion on the cluster fuck number of claims by whitening toothpastes and whitening procedures.
The Kurthys in Dortmund, Germany receiving the Best Cigar Accesory of 2018 from Cigar Journal Magazine:
Categories: Dr. Rod Kurthy ~ The Truth About Teeth Whitening