Can Whitening Weaken Enamel?

At-home tooth-whitening products have become increasingly easy to use, and consequently, increasingly popular. However, using them could potentially lead to increasingly fragile enamel.

Ohio State University researchers tested five name-brand whitening products (strips and trays), all of which rely on hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to create free radicals that attack the pigment molecules in enamel, ultimately making teeth appear whiter when the molecules stop reflecting light. Their findings show that more than just the enamel's pigment molecules are affected by this process.

After what each brand defines as a full whitening treatment, the human tooth samples displayed enamel loss ranging from 1.2 to 2 nanometers. Additionally, when the the researchers tested their ability to bounce back, the teeth were up to 19% less capable.

Even though the loss of hardness is relatively minimal, it causes enough to concern for the justify changing these formulas, according the the researchers. They believe manufacturers may be able to alter concentrations and modes of application to make home tooth whitening safer.

In the meantime, if you continue using these products, you can help strengthen enamel by using fluoride toothpaste and other fluoride-based products.

  • ERic
    Posted on

    It's true. Fluoride is most definitely a poison. Research it. There is no credible evidence that fluoride is necessary or even effective at what it claims to do: protect teeth from decay. The history of fluoride is misleading, disgusting, and greedy. Fluoride is a waste by-product of industrial and commercial fertilizers; yes, like the fertilizers you and I use for lawns and gardens. Due to the rise of environmentalism, legislation, and public pressure, companies had to find a way to dispose of the fluoride waste. To remedy the situation, they devised a way to dispose of the chemical: use humans as garbage bins for fluoride. Yes, it sounds like a ridiculous conspiracy theory, but just search "the history of fluoride."

  • BWORLD111
    Posted on

    Fluoride is poison and destroys tooth enamel makes me sick to see a honest article lie at the end.

  • Posted on

    Although this is an interesting study previous research has also shown that it is important to wait approximately 2 weeks following bleaching to have direct bonding done. It also points out the importance of having your dentist examine your teeth before you embark on any type of bleaching. This way your dentist can let you know by examining your xrays the thickness of your enamel plus the size of your pulp tissue to help determine any potential sensitivity.

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