Hydrogen peroxide is the whitening agent used in teeth whitening strips. There are two types that can use either a 6% or 10% concentration of the whitening agent. In comparison, professional dental trays contain carbamide peroxide from 10 to 20% concentrations. The hydrogen peroxide agent is layered onto polyethylene strips, making it an easy deliverable system for teeth whitening.
The topical gel on the strips is clear, making the strips easy to use at any time of the day without being too noticeable. Since the hydrogen peroxide is on a strip, and not a custom-molded tray, they have to be pressed down to get into the cracks and crevices of the teeth. This means that the application can be less than smooth and some areas whiten better than others do.
Hydrogen peroxide is found to be a pretty safe product for many different applications, although the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t really regulate teeth whitening products. If you know you have sensitivity to this compound, then you need to either keep to lower concentrations or avoid the products all together. Hydrogen peroxide can cause side effects like tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. The actual discomfort can vary from person to person, depending on multiple factors. If you have problems with your teeth or gums, then you might want to check with a dentist first before using the product.
If you do experience side effects from the hydrogen peroxide, you can discontinue the use of the product at any time before the full treatment schedule is done. If you don’t get the exact shade you want, you can do another treatment of 7 or 14 days, depending on the product instructions, but you want to be sure to wait a bit to give your teeth time to recover. Hydrogen peroxide does not have a long shelf life, so once you buy the product use it as soon as you can. It will eventually degrade over time and be less effective afterwards.