How whitening treatments and their products work

In general terms, teeth whitening should be discolored. The chemicals that use whitening treatments are strong enough to penetrate deeply into the enamel of the teeth (the strong layer that covers them) and trigger a chemical reaction that breaks down the compounds of blemishes. This reaction is called oxidation.

There are two chemical whitening agents that are commonly used in whitening products and professional treatments.

One of them is carbide peroxide, and the other is hydrogen peroxide.

Professional Whitening Dentistry

One of the advantages of obtaining your whitening in a dental office is that they will examine and clean your mouth properly before the whitening procedure, increasing the quality of the result.

Health professionals generally use carbide or hydrogen peroxide. Some dentists can supplement with intense light to accelerate the chemical reaction of whitening, although the actual effectiveness of this type of light has been much questioned.

The procedure typically involves a dentist who applies the peroxide gel, removes it and reapplies several times. Professional whitening treatments can achieve changes in your teeth from four to six shades.

Another benefit of treatment in the office is that during the whitening your gums and the rest of the mouth are protected. While these whitening procedures may be the most expensive, their effects are also the most lasting.

Dental whitening at home led by dentists

Whitening products to apply at home also use gels, and up to 20% contain carbide peroxide, as well as other ingredients, including flavoring agents, water and glycerin.

Your dentist will take impressions from your mouth and make custom plates to use during treatment. It will give you a gel to apply to your teeth through the plates with clear instructions with defined time intervals and for a period of one to two weeks.

Home whitening at home

Before making decisions to start a whitening procedure with products available in the supermarket or the drugstore, it is a good idea for your dentist to first check the condition of your mouth, to identify and treat any problem before applying the whitening product.

As mentioned, most of the bleaches for home use carbide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, which is the same agent used by professionals in the office but with a different concentration.

The whitening products of mass consumption are chemical solutions that can come in the form of gel, rubbers, strips, mouthwash or in the form of toothpaste. OTC products (sold without medical formula) are a cheaper alternative to professional treatments and are more convenient.

Who should not have a whitening?

You should know that Whitening is not a solution for everyone. If you have problems with your gums, deteriorating tooth enamel or cavities, it is recommended to consult your dentist before applying any whitening product on your teeth.

Also, if you apply whitening products and you experience unwanted sensations in your teeth after using it, visit your dentist to evaluate your oral condition.