Teeth Whitening Agents

So you’re thinking about getting your teeth whitened, and want to know the actual process? This article is for you. It gets a little technical and detailed, so you might feel you’re reading Japanese.

First, let’s look at the parts of the teeth – how they’re made and what they’re made up of.


The outer layer of your teeth consist out of enamel. This is basically what your teeth make look white. This enamel layer basically is wrapped around the tooth crown. At the bottom you will find the dentin. This is a softer tissue although it is similar to your enamel. The difference is that it isn’t as sparkling as enamel; it has a slightly different look.

External stains will form on the layer of enamel, while intrinsic stains will occur in the dentin of your teeth.

Through mineralization the enamel is formed. It is very tough material and is derived of rod-like components. These rod-like components are crystalline parts. They are so tough as they are packed so tightly that they only leave microscopic gaps in between them. The size of these gaps differ from person to person. This means that some people will have bigger gaps than others and this is a good explanation why some people are experiencing more staining problems than others. But this layer of enamel is the reason why our teeth are white and shiny. The kind of enamel that is permanent is also white the moment this enters your mouth.

The challenge for the enamel is that while using our teeth debris can accumulate in the gaps which will result in stains and discoloring of your teeth.

One big advantage of the various staining agents is that the pores and the rods will be cleaned as well and at the same time they will help free your teeth from discoloring which will occur due to oxidation reactions. This will happen the moment you start to use two different staining agents. Many manufacturers use bleaching agents for various reasons. Carbamide peroxide is the milder form of this bleaching agent.

Peroxide is mainly used in dental practices. Only a few home whitening kits use it as well. Make sure that your don’t have sensitive teeth and gums. In that case you better use agents that contain carbamide peroxide as this is the milder version of the typical bleaching agents.

The other fact is that dentin is staining as well. Many different kinds of stains are capable of going inside of the dentin if you don’t take care to get rid of it. When this happens the stains will start to show through the enamel layer of your teeth. Grinding, getting older, a big accident are a few examples in which this can occur.
As you probably expected, extrinsic stains are the ‘easy’ stains to get rid of. With intrinsic stains you better seek professional help. But basically the procedures of removing the stains are the same, but your dentist will use a stronger agent than the DIY kits.