Your teeth may become yellow or discolored due to various reasons. Regardless of the cause of the stained teeth, the best solution is to use teeth whitening products to regain your pearly whites.
You may be aware of hydrogen peroxide as one of the key ingredients used in both in-office and over-the-counter teeth whitening. But did you know about carbamide peroxide? This is also another popular bleaching agent used in these teeth-whitening products.
Here’s a comprehensive post to take you through all you need to know about carbamide peroxide, with all the answers you seek, including whether it is safe for teeth.
- Carbamide peroxide is a safe and effective teeth-whitening solution.
- Carbamide peroxide breaks down slower than hydrogen peroxide, getting you the desired results but at a slower rate.
- Carbamide peroxide whitening has minimal to no sensitivity or irritation.
What Is Carbamide Peroxide Teeth Whitening?
To clearly understand what carbamide peroxide is all about, it would be prudent first to know what peroxide and hydrogen peroxide is.
A peroxide is any compound that contains two oxygen atoms. When you add hydrogen to the peroxide, it forms hydrogen peroxide, which is an oxidizing agent. This product causes chemical reactions when the oxygen atoms lose electrons. As a result, it alters the substance it’s applied to.
During teeth whitening, hydrogen peroxide causes a chemical reaction that dissolves stains on teeth.
On the other hand, carbamide peroxide is a combination of hydrogen peroxide and another compound known as carbamide or urea. This has a slightly different chemical makeup. However, it is also an oxidizing agent that removes stains the same way as hydrogen peroxide.
Difference Between Carbamide Peroxide And Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide change the chemical composition of stains when applied to teeth. This is why they are mostly referred to as bleaching agents rather than just whitening agents used on whitening products.
Bleaching refers to using chemicals to alter the shade of the tooth enamel, while whitening is simply the removal of surface stains on teeth caused by things like coffee.
While both bleaching agents are used in teeth whitening similarly, they are somewhat different in a few ways. Some of the key differences between hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are:
Hydrogen peroxide is more effective than carbamide peroxide in teeth whitening. This is because it is purer and highly concentrated than the latter, which is simply a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide.
However, both bleaching agents are effective in getting you pearly whites. It all depends on how fast you want to see the results.
Hydrogen peroxide breaks down much faster compared to carbamide peroxide. It releases most of its whitening effects within 30 – 60 minutes of use.
On the other hand, Carbamide peroxide only releases around 50% of its whitening power within 2 – 6 hours.
The slow release of the bleaching agent from carbamide peroxide makes it ideal for use on at-home teeth whitening products, especially the ones used overnight.
Both products do not show any significant sensitivity issues when used. However, there may be sensitivity experienced for people with more sensitive teeth and also when higher concentrations of the products are used.
As a rule of thumb, it is essential to stick to the recommended concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide before using them on teeth to avoid sensitivity issues. For instance, it is advisable not to use beyond 35% carbamide peroxide and 10% hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening.
When selecting the best with carbamide peroxide vs hydrogen peroxide, you also have to consider their use frequency.
Hydrogen peroxide products are more concentrated and require fewer applications to get the desired results. In some cases, like in-office whitening, you only need one application to get the job done.
You may have to use a carbamide peroxide solution a few more times to get the desired teeth-whitening results.
Is Carbamide Peroxide Safe For Use On Teeth?
Carbamide peroxide is generally safe for use on teeth, even without dental supervision. This is why most at-home teeth whitening products have carbamide peroxide, and patients can use it to whiten teeth without experiencing any significant side effects.
Nevertheless, you must use all carbamide peroxide teeth whitening products as required and stick to the recommended concentrations. Ideally, you should use 16% or 35% concentrations.
You may find 44% carbamide peroxide teeth whiteners over-the-counter. However, this concentration is quite high and may cause severe sensitivity to the tooth and gum irritation. A 10% carbamide peroxide concentration is safe for use, however, it may not be effective in getting rid of tougher stains.
You should also stick to the provided instructions before using a teeth whitening product. For instance, if you are required to use it for only 30 minutes daily, do not use it for more than the recommended time. You should also stop its use after the recommended period to avoid straining and weakening your teeth.
Side Effects of Carbamide Peroxide
Side effects from the use of carbamide peroxide are pretty common. According to dentists, at least one in every three people with teeth whitened from carbamide peroxide reportedly experience some side effects.
Nevertheless, these side effects are hardly obstructive for most users, enough to make them stop using the products.
Depending on your teeth (and general oral health situation), the frequency of use, and the concentration of the product, here are a few carbamide peroxide side effects that you may experience:
Most users may experience some sensitivity from using carbamide peroxide-based teeth whiteners. This may include sensitivity to air (when you breathe using your mouth), thermal sensitivity (when you take cold or hot substances), and tooth pain (often occurs when there’s teeth dehydration involved).
Not everyone experiences sensitivity as a result of teeth whitening with carbamide peroxide. However, those that use the products for longer than recommended, with higher concentrations, and a history of teeth sensitivity are the most likely to experience.
Your gums become irritated when in contact with carbamide peroxide. This is why it is crucial to ensure that the two do not come into contact at any point during your treatment.
Although you may not directly apply the carbamide peroxide to your gums, some may spill out and get in contact with them. This is a problem that most over-the-counter whitening trays that overlap the gums.
Moreover, ill-fitted (universal) trays may rub against your gums, causing irritation and possibly leading to an infection.
However, this problem can be easily solved through custom teeth whitening trays scalloped along your unique gum line and don’t allow spillovers of the whitening agent.
It is possible to swallow the carbamide peroxide during a whitening session. This is especially the case for those that whiten their teeth overnight. Whenever the bleaching agent comes into contact with your throat, it may cause irritation.
However, the amount of bleach in contact with your throat isn’t much. Also, it doesn’t get in contact for long, meaning the irritation naturally goes away.
Pros and Cons of Carbamide Peroxide Teeth Whitening
To enable you further determine if you should consider carbamide peroxide whitening products, here are its key pros and cons to getting you started:
- Effective teeth whitening solution
- Safe teeth bleaching agent
- Longer shelf life
- No color rebound after teeth whitening
- Lower concentration means a lower chance of getting teeth sensitivity
- Prolonged use may damage the enamel
- Treatment times are longer due to the longer time it takes for carbamide peroxide to break down
Best Carbamide Peroxide Whitening Products
The teeth whitening cost at the dentist may be more expensive than at-home whitening products. This is why many carbamide peroxide teeth whitening products can be found on the market. However, all these brands work differently; others are more effective and convenient than others.
After vast research and testing, here are our top picks for the best carbamide peroxide-based teeth whitening products:
AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit
The whitening kit is the main offering from AuraGlow. The kit comes with an LED light mouthpiece, whitening gel syringes, a comfort-fit mouth tray, whitening gel, and a tray storage case.
The LED mouthpiece accelerates the whitening process by activating the molecules in the whitening gel. This gives this kit the ability to whiten teeth up to 3x faster.
AuraGlow has one of the best teeth whitening gels on the market. It contains a 35% carbamide peroxide whitening gel, equivalent to what dentist uses in their office. According to the company, the whitening gel is also kosher, vegan-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and has organic ingredients.
The comfort fit tray is made from soft and safe silicone, which doesn’t require further molding from you.
AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit Summary
AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen
AuraGlow’s teeth whitening pen offers users the convenience they need when getting their pearly whites. These contact pens are designed to make teeth whitening easy, even on the go.
Filled with the same effective dental-grade 35% carbamide peroxide bleaching agent, the AuraGlow teeth whitening pen allows you to achieve up to 10 shades lighter in 7 days.
You simply twist the pen and apply carbamide peroxide gel for teeth whitening, and brighten your smile in under 1 minute per session. It is just like toothpaste with carbamide peroxide.
AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen Summary
Carbamide peroxide is a key ingredient in most teeth whitening products. It is safe for your teeth and does not cause significant side effects like irritation and sensitivity. This solution is as effective as hydrogen peroxide, but it may take a little longer to see the results.
This is because carbamide peroxide takes more time to break down. Nevertheless, you will have the pearly whites you desire when whitening teeth with carbamide peroxide.
Carbamide peroxide can be used for various purposes, including whitening teeth, loosening ear wax as in the case of carbamide peroxide otic, and cleaning oral wounds. All these are made possible thanks to the solution’s unique chemical composition.
Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide offer similar results in teeth whitening. The bleaching agent you opt for depends on personal preferences or, in some cases, availability.
Carbamide peroxide is the ideal bleaching solution if you wish to whiten your teeth but are scared of having to endure sensitivity and irritation.
Carbamide peroxide in 16% and 35% concentrations are safe and effective for teeth whitening. However, a 35% carbamide peroxide solution gets the job done much faster. Using a stronger concentration may damage your enamel.
Carbamide peroxide breaks down at a slower rate, so you should give it at least 2 - 4 weeks of use. It is advisable to use only this timeframe to prevent damaging your enamel.
The amount of time it takes to achieve whiter teeth by using carbamide peroxide is not standard as it depends on various factors like the concentration of the bleaching agent, the current situation of your teeth, brand used, among others.
Teeth whitening carbamide peroxide generally has a longer shelf life than hydrogen peroxide. Depending on the brand, carbamide peroxide for teeth whitening can last between 1 and 2 years without expiring.