What is Carbamide Peroxide?
Also known as urea hydrogen peroxide, urea peroxide, or percarbamide, this is a strong-oxidizing agent. It forms from a reaction between hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and Urea ((NH2)2CO). The chemical formula of this crystalline white compound is CH6N2O3. This chemical has the property that it releases oxygen when it comes in contact with water. Exposure to high concentrations of this chemical can cause corrosion and burns. It is a respiratory, eye, and skin irritant. However, at low concentrations, it can be safely used as a teeth-whitening agent, when it is combined with hydrogen peroxide. It has been effectively used in cosmetic dentistry for many years. Whitening gels made from it, contain a varied concentration, ranging from 10% to 35%. This chemical is widely used to loosen and remove earwax, as well as treat ulcers.
How Does it Work?
An application of this gel can achieve good and long-lasting results. How does it work? The enamel has a rodlike crystal structure which has porosities inside. These porosities are penetrated by the oxidizing agent which is carbamide peroxide whitening gel and the oxidization of interprismatic stain deposits is effectively achieved. Enamel is semi-translucent and therefore, the underlying dentin layer, under the enamel, affects the coloring of the tooth. The oxidizing agent penetrates and bleaches this underlying dentin layer too, leading to overall whitening of teeth. The whitening can last for several months but it all depends on the lifestyle of the person. Frequent consumption of dark liquids like tea and coffee can also decrease the effect of this gel.
How is it Applied?
This gel is easily available at medical stores now or it can be even purchased online. It can achieve high-quality bleaching of teeth at home. Of all the whitening methods, this one is the simplest. Using thin plastic trays, this gel is applied to teeth in short time periods. Custom-made whitening trays can increase the effectiveness of the bleaching. The trays can prevent the exposure of the gel with the gums. The application trays of this whitening gel need to be fitted properly so that the teeth undergo an even and substantial exposure. The trays filled with the whitening gel are applied for short bursts of 15-20 minutes, two or three times. The gel gets converted into hydrogen peroxide on application in the mouth and achieves the bleaching effect. The recommended concentration level of the gel is 15%.
This bleaching treatment can have side effects. It may cause tooth sensitivity and irritation of soft tissues in the gums. However, these effects last only for two to three days. Personally, I recommend that it will be better if you consult a dentist before using any whitening product at home, for safety reasons.