Everyone’s teeth are unique and discolour and stain in different ways. Common causes of discoloration are typically:
When whitening product is applied to the tooth, it breaks down into water and oxygen ions. The oxygen ions enter the enamel and attack the long stain molecules effectively break them down to be short and colourless. These short and colourless molecules are then naturally removed from the tooth by saliva. The intensity of whitening is related to the number of oxygen ions available and the length of time they are on the tooth.
The main difference between these categories of products is the amount of hydrogen peroxide, which is the active ingredient they contain. Carbamide peroxide breaks down into hydrogen peroxide over a period of time but at a lesser strength of active ingredients.
Products can range from as little as a 3% all the way up to 37.5%. The amount of active ingredient dictates the strength of the product and the duration required to apply it to your tooth to achieve the desired whitening effect.
Your dentist will use the Pola Shade Guide to identify your tooth colour. They will also use this scale to estimate how many shades whiter you want your tooth. Each type of whitening utilises a unique application technique to protect your tooth and gums during the whitening process and also long term.
Some products contain features that actively protect your tooth and gums during the process and these can be beneficial as they enable you to achieve the desired whitening effect without incurring damage to your teeth or gums.
It’s best to seek your dentist’s advice on which whitening product is most suitable for you and approximately how many shades whiter you are able to achieve.