Teeth whitening products can take a variety of methods or paths to create a brighter, whiter smile. But how do these products actually achieve those dazzling results? Today I will strive to explain to you how teeth whitening actually works to whiten your teeth.
Your teeth are made out of two layers. The outside layer is called enamel, and the inside layer is called dentin. These layers are both porous, which means that the things you eat and drink can get deep down inside your teeth. This process of digging deep down into your teeth takes a long amount of time, however. The first thing that happens is that a layer builds up on your teeth, called pellicle. This layer can be cut down on through using toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes will cut down on the layer even further, but there is no way to get every little bit of the built-up layer through brushing.
This is where whitening products come in. See, the stains that occur deep down in your teeth are harmless, but the vast majority of people think that these stains-which are noticeable- are unattractive. To get rid of all of these stains, and the remnants of the pellicle layer on your teeth, whitening products use an oxidation process with hydrogen or Carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient. This oxidation process breaks down all of the stains inside of your teeth, and outside of your teeth, allowing you an all-around more beautiful smile. Dentists, on the other hand, use rough tools and materials to scrape away these stains, which sounds much more painful than the chemical process does.
As a precaution, you should make sure your teeth, gums, and mouth in general are in good condition before using any of these over the counter products, however. While there have been no major risks found in relation to at home teeth whitening products, it is still your best bet to be safe instead of sorry.
So is this process safe? Clinical studies have proven that any formulas containing 10 percent Carbamide peroxide (or 3.6 percent Hydrogen Peroxide) have shown no changes to your tooth enamel. Higher levels of concentration in products can slightly weaken your enamel, or cause a higher level of sensitivity than would a product with a lower concentration. But in the long run, no major changes in teeth generally have been noted, making it a safe and effective product to use.
The only side effect with at home teeth whitening kits is sensitivity. This can be taken care of by whitening less frequently (if you do it twice a day, do it only once; if you do it once a day, do it every other day), or by choosing a product with a lower concentration of peroxide. If you are one of the very few people who suffer from severe sensitivity but still want to whiten your teeth, you can use orajel to help negate the pain.