The Variety of Teeth Whitening Agents that are Used and the Benefits they Offer

There are a number of factors that contribute towards their discoloration. Take smoking or any other form of tobacco consumption for instance; that invariably leads to discolored teeth. Then regular consumption of tannin-rich foods such as red wine can lead to extrinsic stains that do not go off easily.

Further, there are intrinsic stains that have their own set of factors behind them – dentine properties, the relationship with light scattering, as well as enamel adsorption properties.

Altogether, as you can clearly see, there are a number of different factors that can contribute towards teeth discoloration which in turn need to be combated using a variety of different teeth whitening agents. Accordingly, in this article we look at some of these agents, and also delve into the benefits that they offer.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most common teeth whitening agents regularly used for its efficacy. In fact it forms a vital ingredient in a variety of different end-use teeth whiteners be it strips, veneers, crowns, and so on.

This hydrogen peroxide is usually formed as a result of carbamide peroxide present in teeth whitening products that eventually break down into hydrogen peroxide and urea with hydrogen peroxide acting as the primary agent of bleaching.   

As mentioned previously, nearly all teeth whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide. The difference lies in its strength; when it comes to home teeth whitening agents, they contain hydrogen peroxide to a lesser degree while office or clinic teeth whitening agents have it in greater concentration.

As far as efficacy is concerned, it certainly proves to be a superior teeth whitening agent which is why its usage is so commonplace. That also makes an obvious statement as far as benefits of hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening are concerned.

Coming to any possible adverse effects of using hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening, they do not range beyond some degree of enhanced tooth sensitivity and possible cervical root resorption in select cases. Otherwise, there are no clinical studies showing other adverse effects as such, confirmed in studies by (Tredwin, Naik, Lewis, & Scully, 2006).

Other teeth whitening agents

There are other agents besides hydrogen peroxide often used for professional and home teeth whitening. At the same time, it must be remembered that often these agents are present in tandem with hydrogen peroxide. Instances include sodium hydroxide, carbopol, and glycerin to name a few.

In these instances, the important point to understand and appreciate would be that they work well as a catalyst along with hydrogen peroxide when it comes to the end objective of whitening teeth effectively.

Teeth Whitener Forms

While looking at teeth whitening agents, it would only be suitable that we look at teeth whitening forms as well. For instance, there are strips – such as Crest 3D Luxe Whitestrips Glamorous White. Then you also have teeth whitening toothpaste which does a fair job over prolonged usage, thanks to the gentle polishing that it does, along with chemical chelation. Here the focus is essentially on adopting a non-bleaching approach towards whitening teeth.

The benefits in such cases lie in their low cost and extreme convenience. Take for instance, Crest Whitestrips, Gentle Routine at a mere $86.25, inclusive of shipping, you get a package that contains 28 teeth whitening treatments. Using these teeth whitening products, you can easily look forward to a shiny set of white teeth over time, with the added convenience of being able to put these strips onto your teeth just about anytime and anywhere. With professional or clinical sittings, such convenience is of course not there.


In conclusion, it would only be appropriate to mention that there are numerous teeth whitening agents out there, all of which offer their own set of unique advantages or benefits.

You will typically find hydrogen peroxide to be a common denominator across most teeth whitening agents, whether in clinical or home settings, with the difference lying in the extent to which this agent is present. This is simply a function of the superior efficacy that hydrogen peroxide very clearly displays when it comes to whitening teeth.

At the same time, there are other agents as well. These agents have to be taken into context of the diverse teeth whitening forms that each of us would want to consider. Factors for doing so would include cost and convenience to name a few.

A final note of caution would be that no matter what agent or form you opt for, at least one consultation with a dental professional that has no personal interest in swinging your decision either way would always be advisable.

Works Cited

Tredwin, C., Naik, S., Lewis, N., & Scully, C. (2006). Hydrogen peroxide tooth-whitening (bleaching) products: Review of adverse effects and safety issues. British Dental Journal, 371-376.