Many people may need teeth whitening for several reasons. They may have discolored teeth due to poor oral hygiene, having medicines, foods and drinks that stain their teeth, and many other conditions. Teeth whitening performed by your dentist can make your teeth shine faster. The whitening solution is usually much stronger than homemade kits.
In addition, heat, light, or a combination of the two can be used to speed up and intensify the whitening process. The ADA describes whitening as any process that will make teeth appear whiter, using one of two ways. A product can whiten the tooth and therefore change the natural color of the tooth. A bleach contains peroxide that helps remove deep and superficial stains.
However, a non-bleaching bleach product contains substances that help remove only surface stains. Tooth whitening is any process that lightens the color of a tooth. Whitening can be achieved by physical removal of the stain or a chemical reaction to lighten the color of the tooth. Bleaching is defined here as the chemical degradation of chromogens.
The active ingredient in most bleaching products is hydrogen peroxide (H2O), which is administered as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is a stable complex that decomposes on contact with water to release hydrogen peroxide. Because carbamide peroxide releases hydrogen peroxide, the chemistry of most teeth whitening is that of hydrogen peroxide. More recently, amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) has been added to some of the teeth whitening products, to reduce sensitivity, reduce enamel demineralization through a remineralization process after whitening treatments, and add a bright shine to teeth.
Some home whitening kits involve covering your teeth with a whitening agent before placing a mouth guard on your teeth.