Did you know that teeth whitening is the most requested elective procedure in American dental practices*?
Many of those patients electing time in the dental chair are looking forward to the brighter smile, and not focusing on the amazing chemistry that produces those results. Tooth whitening procedures have very little to do with the health of your teeth as the superficial treatment is aimed to improve appearances.
This chemical process employs an oxidizing agent to remove any stains from the surface of teeth. Water + carbamide peroxide = hydrogen peroxide (a bleaching agent).
The peroxide oxidizes the composites causing stains in your enamel, breaking them down into smaller molecules that are lighter in color.
The stains can result from drinking coffee, soda, red wines or eating certain foods like berries.
There is a plethora of over-the-counter whitening options that are slightly less popular than those offered by your dentist and conducted under their supervision.
There are numerous other chemical processes occurring on your teeth with digestion, and during the daily process of tooth cleaning. Think about all that science when you’re brushing your pearly whites tonight.
*According to the American Dental Association, 2016