Even if you adhere to near-perfect dental hygiene, there is a high chance you can still end up with yellow teeth. To most people, gleaming white teeth portray youth and vitality, albeit for everyone, just as our hair turns gray, our teeth turn yellow as we age. Besides aging, our teeth may turn yellow due to: the foods we eat, our lifestyle habits, or consumption of products like caffeine or tobacco that can stain tooth surfaces, making them look yellow and shabby. Thankfully, tooth color can be improved by a number of approaches and methods including whitening toothpaste, professional whitening at the dentist’s office, custom-made whitening trays, whitening strips and mass market bleaching whiteners.
Let’s talk about hydrogen peroxide for a couple of minutes, especially how it recounts to your teeth, and how to safely use it for general dental care.
To begin, Hydrogen Peroxide is a fairly common product and I can bet you have come across it or heard about it. Hydrogen Peroxide has been used by people for many years as an antiseptic or disinfectant. Chemically, it is considered a close element to water, well; it is simply water with an extra molecule of oxygen (H2O2). This does not mean it is safe to drink, obviously.
Though Hydrogen Peroxide can be used in a variety of ways and is used in the manufacture of a myriad of products in the market, its most prominence use must be in the areas of teeth whitening, I must say. For starters, Hydrogen Peroxide is a bleaching agent, and can most certainly aid in whitening teeth. Whitening products can be administered by dentists, dispensed by dentists for home use, or can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC). They are mainly categorized into two major groups. The first is Peroxide-containing bleaching agents and the second is whitening toothpaste. Therefore, it is true to say that, Hydrogen Peroxide as a teeth whitening agent is by no means a myth buster, it is scientifically proven.
Did you know that Hydrogen Peroxide is universally sold in brown bottles? Why? This is because light is the nemesis to Hydrogen Peroxide, therefore the brown bottles are formulated to keep the light at bay and avoid turning the Hydrogen Peroxide to water, there is a lot of chemistry that goes behind that I would rather not get into at the moment. Back to our topic at hand, how can you use Hydrogen Peroxide to whiten teeth?
How teeth whitening works
Whitening can either be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic whitening refers to whitening on the inner part of the tooth. This process involves soaking up hydrogen peroxide gel (the whitening bleach or gel). When the inner part of the tooth is whitened, the color is reflected through the outer enamel making teeth look both whiter and brighter. This is the skill applied in in-clinic professional whitening. On the other hand, extrinsic whitening involves the removal of stains on the outer part of the teeth – enamel. This is either done by polishing white toothpaste or with a polish by a dentist.
Certainly, the fastest, easiest way to whiten your teeth is to have the procedure performed by a dentist. In a clinic teeth whitening, the process involves the application of a professional-grade whitening agent along with a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide on your teeth. An intense light or laser is then illuminated on the solution to activate the bleaching process. The bleaching process takes between one to two hours to complete the whitening effect, the results are impressively immediate and a huge change and long-term pearly smile can be seen. In addition to the great perks of better and faster results, the in-clinic whitening is the safest form of tooth bleaching available today. This is because, prior to application of the professional-grade whitening agent and the concentrated hydrogen peroxide, the dentist protects the gum tissues by the application of a gel or isolation with a rubber dam. This reduces the risk of damaging your gums during the process.
For optimum results for that picture perfect smile, regular teeth whitening appointments may have to be scheduled to achieve optimum whitening. High concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide of about 25% to 40% used together with a laser or light for effect are very effective in teeth whitening as well as increasing faster and better chances to achieve the desired results.
The second option for professional whitening is a whitening product provided by the dentist for home application. It comprises of whitening trays with a whitening solution with little concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide. You can whiten your teeth in the privacy of your own home, though; it takes longer to achieve the desired effects due to less concentration of the whitening agents.
Needless to say, Hydrogen Peroxide is a powerful oxidant, thus, if administered as a bleaching agent in high concentrations without the protection of the gums and tissues, it can cause catastrophic effects. You can argue that dental whitening products do contain hydrogen peroxide, yes they do, but they are packaged in such a way that they only make contact with the teeth. This goes without saying; a lot of precaution needs to be taken when using Hydrogen Peroxide.
*The information provided in this article is not meant to be dental advice of any kind and was composed from research of information provided on the world wide web. Always consult your dentist for dental advice.