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Teeth Whitening Gel

Teeth whitening gel is a common option for people who want to whiten their teeth and brighten their smile. Although gels have a standard look, they vary greatly in the type and strength of the main bleaching ingredient used and in how they are applied.

The bleaching ingredient in teeth whitening gels is a form of peroxide, which is a weak acid. Hydrogen peroxide generally works more quickly to produce the free radicals that break down and remove the stains on a person's teeth. Carbamide peroxide also whitens teeth very well, but because it produces the free radicals more slowly, it generally takes longer to work. Both types of peroxide bleach well and are popular in teeth whitening gels. Generally, if a product is intended to be used overnight, it contains carbamide peroxide, which works more slowly. Often the products marketed as quick and easy to use during the day contain hydrogen peroxide. Side effects such as sensitive teeth and irritated gums are common for people using either type of teeth whitening gel. These side effects are not considered serious and usually end when the whitening process ends. Consumers should note, though, that using a product with a high concentration of either type of peroxide can actually damage the teeth. Damage can also occur when using a teeth whitening gel more often than indicated.