The chemistry behind teeth whitening Today’s Video of the Day is part of the Reactions series from the American Chemical Society, and describes how hydrogen peroxide is the secret weapon behind teeth whitening.
While researchers have found that all peroxide-based teeth whitening products are safe to use, the fastest way to whiten teeth is at the dentist’s office. Dentists use a much higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide, which penetrates the enamel to break down complex molecules and remove stains from teeth.
Most people find they need a touch-up every four to six months. Teeth whitening with over-the-counter (OTC) products usually lasts for a couple of months before you need a touch-up. Although in most cases teeth whitening strips will remove stains from your teeth and make them whiter.
Often times your teeth will become 5-10 shades whiter. The chemistry behind teeth whitening will also show Most of the time teeth whitening strips provide results that look similar to professional whitening results.
A bleaching gel containing hydrogen peroxide in combination with a UV light creates a chemical reaction to remove stains from below the enamel layer of teeth. In order to remove stains, dentists use a chemical that can get down to where the stains are and break up them up using a chemical reaction. A recent addition to the field is new light-accelerated bleaching agents containing lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide with a titanium oxide nanoparticle-based catalyst.
Video Credit: American Chemical Society