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Using Hydrogen Peroxide for Teeth Whitening
April 17th, 2013 by Dr. Watson

Hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure for lightening the shade of teeth by literally bleaching them. Some teeth whitening procedures that use hydrogen peroxide can lighten teeth by between 6 to 8 shades. There are two main several ways hydrogen peroxide can be used in teeth whitening which are bleaching trays, or by having your teeth whitened professionally in your dental office.

Using Bleaching Trays
This is one the most popular ways of bleaching teeth and involves the use of carbamide peroxide gel. The concentration of carbamide peroxide gel might seem quite high but only yields around a third of this concentration in hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is used as it is a little more stable than hydrogen peroxide. The gel reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide, and a carbamide peroxide gel with a concentration of 15% will typically yield a 5% strength of hydrogen per oxide.

Bleaching trays can be purchased in local drug stores or online, or can be custom-made in a dental office. The advantage of buying them online or locally is obviously the price, but custom-made in a dental office may be more affordable than you think. The advantage of having them custom-made is that they will be much more comfortable to wear and less likely to leak. You’ll also benefit from having the products prescribed by a dental professional who will make sure they are right for your needs.

One of the major advantages of bleaching teeth in this way is that it’s very easy to control the degree of color achieved. It generally takes a couple of weeks to whiten teeth, so it’s not the perfect solution if you need a whiter smile in a hurry for a special event.

Having Teeth Whitened at Your Dental Office
This is the fastest way of having your teeth whitened and is also extremely safe. Your dentist will have given you a full check up beforehand to make sure your mouth is healthy and free from disease as otherwise the hydrogen peroxide could irritate the gum tissues and exacerbate any existing oral conditions. The hydrogen peroxide gel is usually used in conjunction with a special light or other energy source that helps to activate the gel more quickly. A typical treatment only takes about an hour and the results can be an amazing.

However the teeth are likely to darken slightly over the next few days. This is because the process of bleaching them slightly dehydrates them, causing them to look a little whiter than they actually are. As the teeth gradually rehydrate they will regain some of their natural color. Some people may also find that teeth are a little sensitive after having been whitened in this way, although the sensitivity should subside after a few days. Your dentist will give you full instructions on how to look after your teeth following this treatment, and may even provide you with custom-made bleaching trays for touch-up treatments at home.

Teeth whitening strips are extremely popular and cheap, and some people find them very good while others prefer whitening pens, but it’s well worth reading reviews about all these products. Everyone should have a full checkup by a dentist before using any type of whitening products, and should never overuse teeth bleaching kits as this could damage the teeth and gums.

For more information on teeth whitening, or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Jim Ed Watson at Jackson Center for Smiles in Jackson, MS today!

To learn more, visit the Findmydentist Teeth Whitening Guide.