Hydrogen Peroxide For Teeth Whitening – Everything You Need To Know

Hydrogen Peroxide For Teeth Whitening – Everything You Need To Know

Hydrogen peroxide is one of those products that many people keep in their cabinets and is usually recognised by a brown bottle. While it has a wide number of uses from a disinfectant and antiseptic, through to an upholstery cleaner and hair lightener, one of its main uses is for teeth whitening.

Although hydrogen peroxide doesn’t sound like something you should be putting on your teeth, the truth is it’s perfectly safe when used correctly. In fact, chemically speaking, it’s relatively close to water. The chemical symbol for hydrogen peroxide for example is H2O2 so it’s basically water with an extra oxygen molecule or two thrown in for good measure. Naturally however, that doesn’t mean that you should drink it

The underlying problem of some hydrogen peroxide-based teeth whitening options

teeth whitening options As an interesting fact, the reason it’s sold in those rather dull but distinctive brown bottles is because light is the sworn enemy of hydrogen peroxide. The more exposure to light it has, the quicker it turns into plain water. Even without light, the product will degenerate naturally over time, thus lessening it’s effectiveness.

That said it’s still used in some form or another on any number of over-the-counter teeth whitening products from teeth whitening strips to teeth whitening gels, because as a bleaching agent, it’s perfect for teeth whitening, However herein lies an important point….

If hydrogen peroxide degrades either naturally or through light exposure, then how do we know that the same doesn’t happen to the over-the-counter teeth whitening products we choose, especially those that have been sat on the shelf for a period of time or have been exposed to excess light?

Professional teeth whitening options – A better solution perhaps?

A far better (and in truth) more effective solution to hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening is professional teeth whitening carried out by your dentist. Typically the hydrogen peroxide content or (HPC) found in most chairside teeth whitening products is in excess of 35%, whereas supermarket whitening strips typically contain around 9% -12%. When you understand how they work, you’ll see more about why this matters….

When the hydrogen peroxide-based gel is applied to the teeth and in some cases activated, it releases highly active molecules known as ‘free radicles’. As the molecules come into contact with staining they react with it and start to break it down. Since the active molecules are colourless they create a whitening effect on the surface of the teeth enamel. The lower the concentration of hydrogen peroxide, the less free radicles are unleashed on the teeth, so ultimately, this explains why chairside teeth whitening treatments can achieve in one hour what over-the-counter whitening strips can take several weeks to do.

But that’s not all…

when you opt for either chairside laser teeth whitening or professional take home teeth whitening kits you’ll be getting a product or service that’s designed specifically for you. On the contrary, when you purchase supermarket teeth whitening strips your buying a ‘one size fits all’ remedy so they don’t take into account factors like individual teeth positioning or degrees of discoloration. Because of this, results can often be a little hit or miss.

Professional teeth whitening options – A better solution perhaps?

Here at Smile Gallery Dental Clinic we use the Opalescence teeth whitening system. This hydrogen peroxide-based product is one of the leaders in the industry and has the ability to alter the molecular structure of many deep-rooted stains. It’s gentle on your teeth yet potent on staining, making it one of the most effective products on the market.

Alternatively, for those who prefer to carry out their treatment in the comfort of their own home Opalescence offer a tray-based teeth whitening service making it an excellent choice for busy people. After collection your teeth whitening kit, simply wear the hydrogen peroxide gel-filled trays for a few hours a day or at night for 1-2 weeks to achieve a whiter, brighter smile.

If you’d like to find out more about hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening and how it can help you, why not book a consultation with the Smile Gallery team. We’re experts in getting the very best out of your smile, so contact us on (03) 8595 2632 today.

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