Carbamide Or Hydrogen: Which Peroxide Gel Is better?

Peroxide is the active ingredient that is used in most teeth whitening products. It is used as the bleaching agent which helps in getting rid of the stains and yellowish color of the teeth. When it comes to teeth whitening gels there are two major types available in the market. One uses hydrogen peroxide as their bleaching agent while the other one uses carbamide peroxide. This teeth whitening review is aimed at providing the better of the two by weighing different pros and cons. More often than not the hydrogen peroxide kit is used by the dentist in in-office procedures while the carbamide peroxide gels are recommended for use at home.

Dentists are known to provide the best teeth whitening treatments because they use a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide to bleach the teeth.  The dentists apply a gum protector before the application of the bleaching agent since the high concentrations of the hydrogen peroxide can damage the soft tissues of the mouth. As a matter of fact, hydrogen peroxide is the active bleaching agent in all teeth whitening gels, even the ones that make use of carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is derived from a hydrogen peroxide molecule by adding a molecule of urea to it.

Hydrogen peroxide is much stronger than carbamide peroxide. There is almost three times strength in hydrogen peroxide gel as is in carbamide gels. But that necessarily does not ensure that equivalent concentrations of both the agents would produce the same whitening effect. The home teeth whitening kits such as strips, trays and gels generally use carbamide peroxide which produces a mild bleaching effect while hydrogen peroxide used by dentists have a much stronger effect on teeth whitening. In fact studies indicate that the use of 6% hydrogen peroxide for one week is much more effective than 18% carbamide peroxide used over a period of two weeks.

The best teeth whitening kits that are aimed at providing quicker results generally use hydrogen peroxide as their active bleaching agent. The main reason for such a choice is the fact that carbamide peroxide has to break down first into hydrogen peroxide before it can act on the teeth. The carbamide peroxide requires at least 15 minutes to begin the breakdown process and takes even longer to get completely broken down into hydrogen peroxide. Only when complete breakdown is achieved the teeth whitening action of the agents in the mouth begins. This is the sole reason that some people are not happy with the carbamide peroxide results.

The question that arises is why use carbamide peroxide in gels at all. The answer would be because the carbamide peroxide gel is much less irritating to the soft tissues of the mouth. That is why it is preferred in home teeth whitening kits. However, the process is time consuming and needs some multiple uses to get the desired results. It is important to follow instructions though.

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