Teeth Whitening | Delmarva Dental Services

Teeth Whitening

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People have tried to whiten their teeth throughout history.  Today there are so many products on the market, it is difficult to know what to choose.  There are toothpastes, mouthwashes, whitening sticks, gels, adhesive strips, trays, lights and lasers.  Some of the advertisers claims  are whitening instantly, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour.  There is high strength, advanced, ultra, maximum strength extreme,and  worlds strongest.  Since whitening products are considered cosmetics not drugs, they do not have to prove any of their claims.  This leaves the consumer in the dark.  We at Delmarva Dental Services are here to shed some light on the subject.   There are two ways to lighten.  First  removing stain by scraping or scrubbing  it away with an abrasive agent  and second by  bleaching it with a chemical.  The chemicals used to whiten teeth are hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide and less often  chlorine dioxide. All toothpastes will  scrub away stain so therefore can claim they are  whitening toothpastes.   They may or may not contain a whitening agent.    Most mouthwashes claiming whitening contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.   Which of the following toothpastes contain a whitening agents and which do not?   Hello                                                                                             ( Answer: The Top 3 do, the bottom 2 don’t)   Always look for the ingredients for the whitening agents when purchasing toothpaste but there are other factors to  consider. So before purchasing toothpaste  see “How To Choose A Toothpaste’   and  “The Problem with Toothpaste” .   There are three important factors in teeth whitening in order of importance.  (1) Time, (2)  Contact, (3) Concentration  These three factors are true for any type of  whitening product or process.  Most all whitening  uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.  Time:  The longer the chemical remains on your teeth the whiter they will get.    The longer the office/mall gels,home, gels, tray, strips, sticks  and pastes are  on the teeth  the greater the whitening.  However there is a point when the teeth  have achieved their maximum  lightness.Contact: Does the bleaching agent stay put?   Baby Custom bleaching trays and whitening strips have good contact with the teeth.  Loose fitting bleaching trays less. See Bleaching trays  The third  and last factor is Concentration.  Now this is  a little tricky because hydrogen  has about 3 (2.7 to be exact) times the strength of carbamide peroxide.  So you have to consider this when your comparing two products, one having carbamide peroxide and the other hydrogen peroxide. carbo Generally most whitening strips and office/mall laser/light  bleaching use  hydrogen peroxide and most tray whitening use carbamide peroxide but there are exceptions.   After all successful whitening,  the shade of the teeth will darken after about 2 weeks.  Not back to the original shade but darker than when immediately stopped whitening.  For more information on types of whitening see”Tray Whitening“,  “Whitening Strips” and Office/Mall Whitening“.  

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