Keeping teeth white doesn’t always happen through brushing and flossing. Those of you who want that extra sparkle added to your teeth may discover that whitening gel is considered effective but harmless. The majority of whitening gels include hydrogen peroxide as one of the main ingredients. When the whitening gel is applied it gently and slowly bleaches your teeth, removing unsightly stains and the unwanted discoloured appearance of your teeth.
How carbamide peroxide works
When carbamide peroxide is applied to your teeth it breaks down to form hydrogen peroxide and urea. It’s the hydrogen peroxide that does the bleaching, as it reacts with the stains and discoloration on your teeth altering their chemical structure while removing the discolouration.
Take home whitening kits
Your dentist can provide whitening trays which are custom made after an impression of your teeth has been carried out. This happens at your first appointment. At the second you will be given the trays to take home and the whitening gel which you will need to add to the whitening tray. You will be asked to apply the whitening gel for a specific period of time covering from 2 to 4 weeks. Some types and concentrations of whitening gels can remain on your teeth for up to 8 hours a time. This reduces the treatment time to just one week. This at-home whitening treatment typically contains 10% carbamide peroxide, which will break down into 3.5% hydrogen peroxide. This is a slower way of whitening your teeth.
Whitening gel applied by a dentist
You can choose to have the whitening gel applied by the dentist that acts more quickly because it contains a greater concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The whitening gel contains around 25 to 40 % of hydrogen peroxide. The treatment lasts about an hour because hydrogen peroxide used in this amount will most likely lose 50% of its bleaching properties in the first 30 minutes.
Another teeth whitening procedure which a dentist could provide is laser whitening. This is sometimes referred to as power whitening. Using this method a bleaching product will be painted onto the surface of your teeth followed by the shining of a laser or light which activates the whitening. This teeth whitening method takes usually about one hour.
Adding additional ingredients to the whitening gel
Some people’s teeth become more sensitive following treatment with whitening gel but other additional ingredients can be added to reduce this effect. These include potassium nitrate, which is used in toothpaste specifically targeting people who have sensitive teeth. Amorphous calcium is another ingredient for those with sensitive teeth.
What does whitening gel whiten?
As whitening gel doesn’t work on crowns and some filling material your dentist can suggest ways of keeping your teeth as white as possible. If used on your natural teeth it will improve the colour of them if it’s applied at several appointments over time.
Applying whitening gel achieves a brighter and cleaner outcome to your teeth and improves your self confidence when in the company of others.