If the teeth whitening gel is made from peroxide, can I just rinse with the hydrogen peroxide I get at the store? Aren’t they the same thing?
While it is true you could get some mild whitening effect from the peroxide you buy in the store, it will be very mild. There are two reasons for this. First is the strength. The peroxide you get at the store is 3% in strength. The minimum strength you should be getting from professional teeth whitening is 22%. Some are even stronger.
The second issue is absorption. In order for the gel to make any real difference, it would have to stay on your teeth for a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes. That is a long time to try to rinse. It is also the reason dentists will provide you with bleaching trays. You can put the gel in the whitening trays and wear them for as long as is comfortable. The longer you wear them, the more effective they are.
Many patients will wear them overnight because this gives the most bang for their buck. In addition to having them on for many more hours than you would normally tolerate during the day, you also will gain effectiveness. Because your saliva production goes down at night there will be less dilution.
Just remember, no matter what type of teeth whitening you do, it will only whiten your natural tooth structure. If you have any dental work, such as a dental crown, that will stay the same color. After you reach the level of whitening you want, if the dental work is visible, you’ll want to replace the crown. This way your crown can match your new brighter, whiter color.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dentist Dr. David Marion.