Even if your oral hygiene is near-perfect, you’re probably still wondering why your teeth is as not as white as you want them to be.
Truth is, there are lot of factors that contribute to the yellowing of our teeth, and some of them there’s nothing we can really do about.
Of course, you can opt to avail of the whitening treatment offered by your dentist as long as you have the time and money.
For those who can’t afford it, or simply are just too busy for a dental appointment, there are teeth whitening products you can use at the comfort of your own home.
But before you pick up that toothpaste that promises to restore your picture-worthy pearly whites, make sure you know how to pick the right products.
Not all whitening products are created equal – it’s the active ingredients that spell the difference on which ones will work and which ones won’t. Find out more about these ingredients in this article.
Peroxide is a staple in almost all teeth whitening products. Two types of peroxide exist – hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is more commonly used, but both work the same way. Basically, the peroxide breaks down to release oxygen into the enamel and whitens it. Hydrogen peroxide exerts most of its whitening power within 60 minutes.
Whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide in varying concentrations; the higher the concentration, the faster and more dramatic the effect. However, it may also result to sensitivity which, albeit temporary, can be very uncomfortable.
Lower concentrations produce less sensitivity, but the teeth won’t whiten as quickly. Single-use products tend to have high concentration of hydrogen peroxide, while everyday products like toothpastes contain less.
If used properly and in the right concentration, hydrogen peroxide should not cause any significant adverse effects on the teeth.
Carbamide peroxide is a combination of hydrogen peroxide and aqueous solution of urea.
It breaks down to produce hydrogen peroxide which, in turn, produces the whitening effect.The effect takes longer to be seen, but it is longer-lasting than that of hydrogen peroxide by about six hours.
That’s because carbamide peroxide is more stable and the active oxygen that gives the whitening effect is released more slowly.
But end results are just the same after 12 weeks of use. Like hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide also comes in different concentrations. These concentrations vary for 10-20% for home use products, and as much as 35% for professional products.
These numbers are higher than what you would find on hydrogen peroxide products because carbamide peroxide is only converted to the more active form.
For instance, a product containing 10% carbamide peroxide has about 3% hydrogen peroxide in it. It also applies that the higher the concentration of carbamide peroxide (hence, hydrogen peroxide), the greater the whitening effect and the adverse effects. Furthermore, products with carbamide peroxide have longer shelf-life.
Baking soda is a common household item that you can use to whiten your teeth. More and more whitening toothpastes now are adding baking soda as one of the main components.
It does an excellent job of removing surface stains through its abrasiveness. But like the peroxides, it should be used with caution because it can damage the tooth enamel.
Take note that baking soda is effective for enamel stains only – if the stains are located deeper or inside the tooth, this agent won’t produce any effect.
Brushing your teeth everyday to make them whiter makes sense, but it would be better if you use products that are actually meant for such purpose. By knowing what to look for in your whitening products, you can have that picture perfect white smile as soon as possible.