Teeth discolour with age as a natural part of the aging process and this is made worse by drinking coffee and tea, smoking and many other parts of daily life that we carry out without thinking.
Your teeth maybe perfectly healthy but if they are not white they are never going to look great however much you brush and floss.
If you are thinking about using a teeth whitening kit to improve the colour of your teeth, you have probably noticed that carbamide peroxide is listed as an active ingredient in some whitening kits. Carbamide peroxide is also the most widely used teeth whitening agent by dentists.
Carbamide peroxide is used in a number of medical applications, such as removing earwax or treating mouth sores but the most common use for it is in teeth whitening.
So exactly what is carbamide peroxide?
Carbamide peroxide is a chemical compound that consists of four different molecules. These are carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen.
The base of this chemical is hydrogen peroxide – often used in medical applications to clean infection, and this combines with the base of carbon and nitrogen which is called Urea. When these elements are combined, the result is carbamide peroxide. When carbamide peroxide is mixed with water, it releases a pure form of oxygen that can be seen as it forms white crystals.
How does it work to whiten your teeth?
Once the carbamide is put into your mouth, it reacts with the water in your saliva and releases the hydrogen peroxide. This part of the solution is the bleaching agent and releases oxygen which gets to work in breaking down the stains on your teeth.
Over time and repeated bleaching, the oxygen manages to work further into the tooth to tackle staining from within. However because the oxygen attacks the top level of staining first, results can often be seen after the first treatment.
Is it safe?
Carbamide peroxide is very safe to use for teeth whitening and any occasional side effects are minimal. It can sometimes cause slight irritation to the skin and eyes at around 15% so users should wear gloves if they have sensitive skin and avoid contact with the eyes. Carbamide sometimes may cause initial irritation to the gums but this does wear off quickly. However none of these symptoms are extreme or long lasting.
Carbamide is used in the treatment of mouth sores so is a perfectly safe product to use in your mouth.
Prolonged use over a period of time without a break is not recommended as Carbamide can kill mouth bacteria, some of which are useful for oral health so for best possible results always keep to the recommended treatment time and follow the product information.