What you should know about Hydrogen Peroxide.
When you look at Hydrogen Peroxide chemical formula it can be said that it is basically water. This is because its chemical formula consists of only Oxygen molecule and water (H2O2). The formula of this chemical compound makes it an effective cleaning and bleaching agent. For this reason different concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide are used for different purposes. Some of the uses of Hydrogen Peroxide are lightening hair, bleaching teeth, removing stains from clothes, carpets and even healing skin wounds (lower concentrations). The main reason why it is used to treat wounds is because it has antiseptic features. It is also worthwhile to mention that Hydrogen is an enemy to light, because when it is exposed to light for longer time it will slowly turn into only water. For this reason when you buy HP it is usually contained in dark bottles (brown) in order to avoid possible contact with light and keep it effective for longer time.
Teeth Whitening with Hydrogen and Carbamide Peroxide.
Hydrogen Peroxide is one of the most popular ingredients in most teeth whitening products and it is a bleaching agent that most dentists use for teeth whitening in their office. When Hydrogen Peroxide is used in high concentrations it works effectively and quickly to whiten your teeth. Due to these features most dentists choose to use it in their office. However it is important to mention teeth whitening products that contain Hydrogen Peroxide might cause certain side effects. The risk of these side effects increases when higher concentrations are used and more frequently. The most common side effects are increased sensitivity of teeth and also mouth irritation. These negative effects are usually only temporary and they disappear shortly. It is also important to mention that products containing concentrations of HP higher than 0.1% are not allowed to be used in EU countries by consumers alone, since they are not considered to be safe.
The other popular whitening agent is Carbamide Peroxide, which is basically a Hydrogen Peroxide, but with lower ratio. For example if you are using a product that contains Carbamide Peroxide (30%) it means that it is actually Hydrogen Peroxide in concentration of about 10%. However it is worthwhile to mention that people who use products with these agents might not get similar results. This is because Carbamide requires more time to be broken down than compared to Hydrogen. So it might be a good or bad thing in terms of teeth whitening. The good thing is that CH is a more stable molecule; therefore many dentists recommend this whitening agent for users who want to whiten their teeth at home. The bad thing is that users might need to keep whitening gel containing CH on their teeth for longer time to get the same results since it need more time to be broken to Hydrogen Peroxide. Also some sources suggest that Carbamide Peroxide might cause less sensitivity for gums, since it only later transforms to HP. However other sources suggest that both of these whitening agents have the same effect in terms of possible side effects. So it is really unclear, which whitening agent is safer. The other benefit of products containing Carbamide is that they tend to have longer shelf life when compared to Hydrogen Peroxide. As it was mentioned previously HP degrades naturally, so CP whitening kits and products usually tend to have longer shelf life.
Whitening with Non Peroxide Products.
Some of the most popular bleaching agent in products that doesn’t contain Peroxide is Sodium Bicarbonate. This whitening agent is quite commonly included in toothpastes that are aimed at whitening teeth. However it is worthwhile to mention that it is only included in lower concentrations so it provides limited results for users in terms of whitening. After kits containing Peroxide in higher concentrations became banned in EU countries, whitening products containing high levels of Sodium Bicarbonate became a great alternative for teeth whitening at home. One of the best known brands that started to offer kits with Sodium Bicarbonate (35%) is Zero Peroxide. It is a great alternative for people who have more sensitive teeth and want to get similar results to Hydrogen Peroxide, but without any side effects.