In the yesteryears, most teeth whitening treatments were performed by qualified dentists, but gradually over the last few years, home teeth whitening kits have arrived on the market allowing people to carry out bleaching of their teeth themselves, using strips of impregnated material applied to the teeth, or, more commonly, trays of gel placed over the teeth.
The tray and gel kits used a similar carbamide peroxide gel formulation akin to that used by the professionals, but at somewhat lower strength. These gels typically contain 15-22% concentration of carbamide peroxide whereas a dentist may use up to 45% to achieve quicker results, using a carefully-controlled technique to protect the patient from swallowing gel or to prevent damage of the gums.
The European Union, fully aware of the situation, has already resolved to ban certain types of home teeth whitening kits because of concerns about possible adverse side effects, maintaining that kits with high concentrations of peroxide may be used only under the close supervision of professional dental experts. This is because people using peroxide kits at home run the risk of chemical burns to their mouth from overspill of gel from mouth trays and hypersensitivity of their teeth following such home treatment.
This has compelled manufacturers to bring out home teeth whitening kits with different formulations that comply with the current European regulations. The new type of kits use sodium bicarbonate, or sometimes sodium perborate as their main active ingredient to achieve excellent whitening of teeth without any risk of health problems or negative side-effects.
The main points to be noted for safe use of any such kit are as follows:
1) Make sure you read and understand all the instructions given with the packet. If you hurry through the instructions, chances are that you might do harm to your own teeth or gums.
2) Don’t carry on using a whitening system for more than four weeks without consulting a dentist. It is best to give your teeth a rest after four weeks of intensive treatment but this is usually all you need to achieve an excellent whitening effect. If you should encounter any sort of heightened sensitivity, it is wise to stop the treatment for two or three days at a time to let the teeth settle, and then resume the treatment.
3) Keep to the recommended amount of whitening gel. Putting too much into the mouth-trays will not speed up the process, but it will make overspill more likely. This is not harmful with non-peroxide kits but you will be wasting gel.
4) Avoid home teeth whitening kits if you are under 16, pregnant, or have white spots on your teeth which may have been caused by some medications in early life. If you do have white spots then teeth whitening treatment may make these more, rather than less, obvious.
To get the best result you should use one of the newer, reliable home teeth whitening products now readily available on the market, like Zero Peroxide, the latest entrant to the home teeth whitening market in Britain. Zero Peroxide is safe as well as effective and since it is free from peroxide, as its name clearly suggests, there is no risk of any harmful side-effect. Use Zero peroxide and you will soon see the difference it will make to your smile.