If there is one thing you could change about your smile, what would it be? You might say that you wish to have whiter teeth. You would be one of  many that share the same wish. Thankfully, there are options available to be able to accomplish this wish. One of those options is a take home whitening kit. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and fabricate a tray made out of a soft plastic that will fit your teeth like a glove! You can use your trays with the bleach solution a few times a week and you will have the pearly whites of your dreams.

Unfortunately, insurance does not cover the cost of take home bleaching because it is considered cosmetic only. However, there are interesting studies being published that have a different view on the benefits of bleaching. They are finding that the chemicals in the bleach are actually killing the bacteria on our teeth! This is great news for anyone who has ever had a cavity.

Doctor Tatyana Haddock explains, “Cavities are caused by bacteria that live and flourish with an absence of oxygen. The chemicals in carbamide peroxide releases oxygen and destroys that bacteria on your teeth.  I like take home whitening because it not only brightens your teeth but also kills bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease.”

The links below dive deeper into the science behind these new findings.

Dr. Van B Haywood MDM talks about the original use for 10% carbamide, “Although 10% carbamide peroxide is generally associated with tooth–whitening, the material was originally used as an oral antiseptic for gingival healing (Haywood, 1992). It was being applied in a tray for wound–healing when the tooth–whitening side effect was discovered (Haywood, 1991).” You can investigate this further by reading his article on Bleaching and carries control in the elderly

In Carbamide peroxide good for more than just whitening by Rabia Mughal, Rabia discusses the new studies that are showing the other benefits of carbamide peroxide. Rabia states, “Dr. Lazarchik and his colleague reviewed the antibacterial properties of CP; the effects of CP on saliva, plaque, caries, and gingival health; tray fabrication options and techniques; application methods; safety; side effects; and the challenges involved in using tray-applied CP materials. They found that CP’s effects on plaque, gingival health, and caries generally have been overlooked in recent clinical practice, even though studies document the benefits of peroxide-based preparations for oral health.”

Here are a few additional links:

In vitro antibacterial effect of carbamide peroxide on oral biofilm

Carbamide Peroxide Whitening and Caries

Take home bleaching sounds like a pretty good deal to me. You are able to whiten your smile and fight cavities at the same time!  Give us a call or contact your dentist to talk about take home whitening for you.

-Rachel G.

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Austin, TX 78717

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