Is Home Teeth Whitening the Best Bleaching Choice for You?

A positive first impression is important in life. A nice smile and white teeth make a first impression that can last a lifetime. It is no secret that teeth lose their whiteness as we age, and that can make for a bad impression. Hollywood celebrities know this and that's why... Read More

August 04 2009

Find Out About The Magic Of Tooth Whitening Products

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Tooth whitening products have soared to the top of cosmetic services people want these days. Who doesn’t want a pearly white smile? Products and services for whitening teeth have jumped to over $1,700,000 in sales, and there is no sign they will decline.

One reason is the process can be fairly inexpensive compared to any other major change someone could make to his or her appearance. And, by most accounts, it is a safe procedure whether you do it at home or through a dentist.

What causes teeth to stain? Teeth are made of two layers. The inner layer is called the dentin. The outer layer is termed the enamel. When you put substances in your mouth such as coffee, tea, red wine, smoke, etc., they build  a layer to the enamel. This is called a pellicle layer.

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When you brush your teeth, some of this is removed, mostly from a scouring effect. Whitening toothpastes just scour a little more than regular toothpastes. The dentist also uses techniques to remove the pellicle layer of stains. And, of course, this is more effective than what you can do yourself. But, there is a problem.

The enamel is porous, and over time the staining can penetrate. Scouring will no longer remove these staining agents. They are harmless as far as the tooth’s health, but for most people they are unattractive.

So, where is the “magic” that whitens teeth? It is performed through the use of one of two chemicals. One is carbamide peroxide, and the other is hydrogen peroxide (the same substance that will bleach your hair).

These are types of bleaches that are safe for this use; and, what they do is penetrate the enamel layer. Once they are absorbed, they set off a chemical reaction, more accurately referred to as an oxidation reaction. This, in turn, causes the stains to broken down.

So, if you are considering using a tooth whitener product, you will have a basic understanding of what is going to happen.


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