How does teeth whitening work?
Everyone wants a brighter and whiter smile. With the advent of various teeth whitening products available in the market, it has become easier to achieve that sparkling smile. One such product that has gained popularity is carbamide peroxide, a powerful active ingredient in many teeth whitening products. In this article, we will discuss how carbamide peroxide works to whiten teeth.
Carbamide peroxide is a chemical compound that acts as a bleaching agent to remove discoloration and stains from teeth. When applied to the teeth, it breaks down into hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient that provides the teeth whitening effect. The hydrogen peroxide penetrates the enamel and dentin of the teeth and oxidizes the pigments that cause discoloration and stains, thereby lightening the color of the teeth.
Carbamide peroxide comes in different concentrations, ranging from 10% to 40%. Higher concentrations of carbamide peroxide generally provide a faster and more noticeable whitening effect. However, these higher concentrations may also increase the risk of tooth sensitivity and other side effects. It is important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and avoid overuse to minimize these risks.
Teeth whitening with carbamide peroxide can be done at home or in the dentist's office. At-home kits typically come in the form of gels, strips, or trays that can be applied to the teeth. The gel or strip is usually left on the teeth for a specified period of time, usually ranging from 30 minutes to several hours. In-office treatments usually involve higher concentrations of carbamide peroxide that are applied to the teeth and activated with a special light. These treatments can produce a noticeable difference in the color of the teeth in just one or two visits.
While carbamide peroxide is effective in whitening teeth, it may not be suitable for everyone. People with sensitive teeth, gum disease, or other dental problems may experience discomfort or other side effects from using carbamide peroxide. It is important to consult a dentist before starting any teeth whitening treatment to determine if it is safe and appropriate for you.
In conclusion, carbamide peroxide is a powerful active ingredient in many teeth whitening products that works by breaking down into hydrogen peroxide and oxidizing the pigments that cause discoloration and stains. With its availability in different concentrations and forms, teeth whitening with carbamide peroxide can be done at home or in the dentist's office. However, it is important to consult a dentist and follow instructions to minimize the risks of side effects.
Dr. Jenny Perna
General dentist with a focus on cosmetics in South Florida