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Recommended Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Ingredients
Do you struggle with unsightly stains on your teeth and wonder if there are over-the-counter teeth whitening ingredients you can use to combat them?
Even if you brush and floss regularly, over time the enamel, the hard outer layer that protects your teeth, is affected by what you put in your mouth. Foreign material such as cigarette smoke, coffee, wine and food begins to attach itself to this outer layer. These foreign materials begin to form what is known as a pellicle layer that can work its way into the enamel staining the tooth.
Because enamel is porous this layer can work its way into the tooth leaving deep stains. When you go to the dentist they use chemicals and scrape away the pellicle layer. But there are also ways to combat these staining elements through the use of over-the-counter teeth whitening ingredients.
Over-the-Counter teeth whitening ingredients
Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are active teeth whitening ingredients found in most over-the-counter teeth whitening products. These two whitening ingredients create a chemical reaction, called oxidation, to break apart the cause of the stains.
Carbamide peroxide breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and urea when used. This makes for a more delayed result. Hydrogen peroxide is more rapid and is commonly used in gel form in the dentist office for in-house teeth whitening. Even though hydrogen has a faster result it can cause tooth sensitivity.
When looking at over-the-counter teeth whitening gels and toothpaste you will need to weigh carefully your personal tooth sensitivity with the rapidness of the product.
The safest over-the-counter ingredient
When it comes to at home teeth whitening carbamide peroxide is the safest option. If you have extremely sensitive teeth, look for a whitening kit that contains 22% carbamide peroxide. It will take longer, but your teeth will thank you for it. The key to success with carbamide peroxide gel is consecutive applications.
Additional over-the-counter teeth whitening ingredients
If you are looking for additional remedies or a way to maintain your teeth’s whiteness between dentist visits here are a few popular over-the-counter options and home remedies.
Activated charcoal is thought to whiten teeth. This process masks the problem. It does not reach down into the tooth to oxidate and break up the staining compound. Instead, it whitens the compound resulting in a whiter smile but does not remove the offending component. It binds to the toxins, it does not eliminate them.
Brush with baking soda. You won’t see results overnight but with time you will begin to notice a difference. Baking soda has natural whitening properties and is abrasive, scrubbing away surface stains.
Pick the right foods
The best method for stains is prevention. Avoid foods and drinks that are sugary, because sugar promotes bacteria growth and is known to cause stains. When you do consume foods containing sugar, brush your teeth immediately afterward.
Stick to crunchy fruits and vegetables that are good for your teeth. These foods naturally clean your teeth as you eat, rubbing away the foreign material before it can attach to the enamel. Some fruits, such as strawberries and pineapples, are believed to even have components that naturally whiten and clean the teeth.
Before choosing an over-the-counter teeth whitening ingredient, be informed. Do your research to get the best result and minimize any side effects.
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