What are the active ingredients in teeth whitening kits?

The desire for whiter and brighter teeth is a common aesthetic concern for many people. To meet this demand, teeth whitening kits have become popular and widely available in the market. These kits contain various active ingredients designed to lighten the color of teeth and improve their appearance. We will explore in detail the commonly used active ingredients in teeth whitening kits, how they work, and precautions to take for safe use.

 Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is the most common active ingredient in teeth whitening kits. It is widely used due to its high oxidizing power, which allows it to penetrate tooth enamel and remove stains and discoloration. Hydrogen peroxide works by releasing active oxygen ions that react with molecules responsible for tooth discoloration, breaking them down into colorless compounds.

It is important to note that hydrogen peroxide is available in different concentrations, typically ranging from 10% to 35%, depending on the product. Higher concentrations are often used in professional in-office whitening procedures, while over-the-counter products generally contain lower concentrations.

Carbamide peroxide

Carbamide peroxide is another commonly used active ingredient in teeth whitening kits. It breaks down into hydrogen peroxide when in contact with the teeth. Carbamide peroxide is often used in teeth whitening gels for trays and is available in varying concentrations, typically ranging from 10% to 44%.

The main difference between hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide is that the latter breaks down more slowly, meaning the active product remains in the mouth for an extended period. This can be advantageous for some users as it allows for longer treatment without frequent applications.

Urea-based carbamide peroxide

Urea-based carbamide peroxide is a variant of carbamide peroxide. It breaks down even more slowly into hydrogen peroxide compared to standard carbamide peroxide. This characteristic allows the active product to remain in the mouth for an extended period, which can be convenient for some users.

Concentrations of urea-based carbamide peroxide typically range from 10% to 22%. This product is often used in teeth whitening trays and may require longer wearing times to achieve optimal results.

Ammonium-based carbamide peroxide

Ammonium-based carbamide peroxide is another variant of carbamide peroxide. It shares similar characteristics with standard carbamide peroxide but can also break down into hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth. This ability to release additional hydrogen peroxide can speed up the whitening process.

Concentrations of ammonium-based carbamide peroxide are similar to those of standard carbamide peroxide, ranging from 10% to 44%. The use of this compound may vary depending on the manufacturer's preferences and the type of product.

Calcium hydroxide-based carbamide peroxide

Calcium hydroxide-based carbamide peroxide combines carbamide peroxide with calcium hydroxide to form a substance that gradually releases hydrogen peroxide in the mouth. This slow release can be beneficial for those seeking prolonged teeth whitening treatment.

Concentrations of calcium hydroxide-based carbamide peroxide may vary depending on the product but generally fall in the range of 10% to 44%. This type of carbamide peroxide is often used in teeth whitening trays, similar to standard carbamide peroxide.

If you decide to use a teeth whitening kit, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Do not use it more frequently than recommended, as it can lead to tooth sensitivity and enamel weakening. Teeth whitening products are designed to be used sporadically to maintain whiteness, not on a daily basis.

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