Carbamide Peroxide: Whitening Smiles in the Office and at Home

One of the most commonly used bleaching agents in today’s teeth whitening is called carbamide peroxide. At one time, carbamide peroxide products were only available by visiting the dentist. In the last several years, more and more products with this substance have become available for purchase over the counter.

Carbamide peroxide has been used for years as a treatment for ulcers in the mouth, such as canker sores. When being used for that purpose, it is typically dispensed at a concentration of about 3%. By increasing the percentage to around 10%, an effective tooth whitener is made.

Whether applied by way of a tray, a pen or a strip, carbamide peroxide has the potential to whiten the user’s teeth by several shades. So why do some over-the-counter products work better than others? The key would be in how effective the delivery method is at keeping the carbamide peroxide on the teeth.

A pen, for example, applies the product directly to the tooth, but then it will be removed very quickly by saliva. On the other hand, trays and strips will work to hold the carbamide peroxide against the tooth for a longer period, allowing it to have sufficient time to produce a noticeable result.

When choosing an at-home whitening system, keep in mind that the delivery system is just as important as the product. In addition to holding the product against the teeth, you want to choose the product that will hold the carbamide peroxide against your teeth most firmly.

That is why molded teeth whitening trays are so effective. They are custom made to fit your teeth and will allow the most penetration of the carbamide peroxide. If working with a tray that you purchased over the counter, you may not be able to get such a great fit. If using strips, be sure to firmly press the strip against each tooth to get the best results.

In addition to being available over the counter, it is also available at your dentist’s office. The solution available from your dentist is likely to be of a stronger concentration (up to 15%) than what you will get over the counter. Also, as mentioned above, the custom trays will allow better whitening results.

Of course, the over-the-counter options are going to be much less expensive than in-office teeth whitening. Just be prepared that the results may not be as remarkable and will likely take longer to achieve.

Carbamide peroxide does effectively whiten teeth when used with a satisfactory delivery method. Whether you choose at-home or in-office whitening, you will most likely see good results and be closer to having the smile that you want.

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