How does teeth whitening work?

The reason teeth whitening is so popular is because it works, is easy to do, non-invasive, and has very little risk of side effects. In this article, the mechanism by which teeth whitening using peroxide-based gel works (the only approved whitening ingredient, as used by dentists worldwide) will be explained, but first it helps to know what causes teeth to become stained!

How do teeth become dull, gray, or yellow?

wineWhen you eat and drink staining foods, such as; curry, red wine, tea, and coffee, or you smoke – the highly coloured organic molecules can enter into your teeth via microscopic pores in the enamel and underlying dentine. As more and more of these dark molecules build up within your teeth, they absorb light and give the tooth a darker or yellower appearance.

As you can imagine, these stains are within the teeth and can’t just be simply removed with brushing. This is where teeth whitening can help!


So how does the whitening gel get rid of these stains?

When you apply the whitening gel to your teeth (via trays, strips, or a pen) the small peroxide molecules pass easily through the micropores and come into contact with the staining molecules that have built up in your enamel and dentine and breaks down into active oxygen (OXYD-8) and water.


The active oxygen is a powerful oxidising agent, this basically means that the large, dark staining molecules get broken down into smaller particles and turned white in colour – exactly like when you apply bleach when cleaning. The overall results is that your teeth look brighter and whiter!

If the gel works on stains, how come it doesn’t damage my teeth?

fdaThe great thing about peroxide based gels is that it can only work on organic stains and so doesn’t affect the hard tissues of your teeth (the enamel and dentine) or any restorative dental work you may have – that’s why peroxide based teeth whitening is the only type approved by international dental associations and offered by dentists worldwide.


The basic teeth whitening formula

For whitening gel to effectively lighten and whiten your teeth this basic formula is needed:

Whitening results = strength of gel x time

Basically this means that the higher the strength of gel and the longer that the gel is in contact with your teeth, the more stains will be broken down and the whiter your smile will become (to a limit of course)!. However, it’s not always necessary to have the highest strength gel – in fact it can give worse results!

If you have any enquires or require any further information about our products then please do not hesitate to get in contact with us