How Teeth Whitening Works

Have you ever wondered how teeth whitening works? Before we go into the details about teeth whitening, let’s discuss how tooth stains occur. Your teeth are made up of an inner layer (dentin) and an outer layer (enamel). When you eat or drink, a thin film of food particles forms over your outer enamel layer. Without proper oral hygiene, the film on your teeth will eventually penetrate into your enamel and cause staining that cannot be removed by brushing or by the hygienist at your cleaning appointment. This is when tooth whitening systems must be used to remove the stain.

Teeth whiteners use bleaching agents that enter into the enamel layer to reach the stain. The active ingredient in tooth whitening systems is either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. A chemical reaction then causes the oxygen molecules from the whitening agent to break apart and whiten the molecules causing the stain. The oxygen molecules continue to spread all over your teeth, resulting in a brighter, whiter smile.

There are currently three different ways to whiten your teeth. In-Office bleaching offers the quickest result, which takes about an hour. Custom-made take home trays will whiten your teeth in about a week, as well as whitening strips. If you have any further questions about the process of teeth whitening, please feel free to contact us.

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