Hydrogen Peroxide vs Carbamide Peroxide Teeth Whitening

All teeth whitening systems eventually come down to one thing – bleaching with Hydrogen Peroxide.

The Hydrogen Peroxide gels used for teeth whitening have the advantage of faster reaction times, meaning they can achieve comparable results with less time on the teeth and under the whitening lamp. They have the disadvantage of being fairly unstable, with a shorter shelf life (use by date), and because of the instability of the compounds require mixing of solutions just prior to application. Because Hydrogen Peroxide can react with people’s lips and gums, burning them, a protective barrier needs to be applied to the gums, lips, and inside of the mouth BEFORE the gels can be safely applied to the teeth.

Carbamide Peroxide gels are much more stable than Hydrogen Peroxide gels, have a longer shelf life, and do not require potentially messy and/or dangerous mixing operations just prior to use. Because Carbamide Peroxide is less reactive than Hydrogen Peroxide, it can remain in contact with lips, gums, and the inner mouth for extended periods of time without causing burning to these sensitive areas of the mouth. Thus, many teeth whitening practitioners prefer to use Carbamide Peroxide over Hydrogen Peroxide for reasons of client comfort and safety.

Before Carbamide Peroxide can whiten teeth, however, it must first decay into Hydrogen Peroxide, a process that begins AS SOON AS the gel starts to penetrate the teeth and continues for at least 20 minutes afterward. A higher strength Carbamide Peroxide gel is therefore required to achieve comparable results to a Hydrogen Peroxide gel. According to ERMA, there is a 3:1 ration of Hydrogen Peroxide strength in Carbamide Peroxide whitening gels, so a 35% Carbamide Peroxide gel is equivalent to a 12% Hydrogen Peroxide whitening gel (the maximum concentration legally available for use by a Teeth Whitening Practitioner).

Aside from the higher concentrations of Carbamide Peroxide required to achieve the whitening results obtainable with a 12% Hydrogen Peroxide solution, the whitening process takes a little longer utilising Carbamide Peroxide as compared with Hydrogen Peroxide.

These differences between the two distinct types of whitening gels divide Teeth Whitening Practitioners into two distinct groups. Those who favour the Hydrogen Peroxide gels, and those who favour the use of Carbamide Peroxide. This holds true even for those Practitioners who offer the use of Carbamide Peroxide to the elderly or those with very sensitive teeth. Or for those Practitioners who offer Carbamide Peroxide whitening, but state that Hydrogen Peroxide gels are also available if requested. In such situations it is clear that the Practitioner has made a definite decision as to the whitening process that they favour, but offer the other method as an alternative, rather than turn customers away who strongly believe they require that method of whitening.

The criteria each Practitioner uses to determine their preferred method of whitening is based on the different properties of each method.

Some Practitioners place the highest value on the time taken to reach the desired result, choose Hydrogen Peroxide gels, and address any safety concerns by applying a gum dam, a barrier to sensitive areas of the mouth.

Other Practitioners place the highest value on client comfort and safety, choose Carbamide Peroxide gels, and address the concerns that the process takes a little longer by simply spending more time with each client to achieve the desired result.

Which is better?

Those that choose Hydrogen Peroxide gels often argue that their procedures are better because their clients take less time out of their busy schedules to undergo the whitening procedure, but this is NOT NECESSARILY THE CASE!

There is significant time required to effectively apply the protective barrier to the gums, and then the barrier must be cured (hardened) which is achieved by spending additional time under the whitening lamp, which also serves to speed up the curing process of the protective gum-dam. The end result is that although the client MAY end up spending less time with the Hydrogen Peroxide gel in contact with their teeth, and less time actually whitening under the whitening lamp, as compared to procedures utilizing Carbamide Peroxide, the TOTAL time the client must spend during the Teeth Whitening appointment to achieve the desired results IS NOT THAT DIFFERENT BETWEEN THE TWO PROCEDURES!


CelebritySmile bases its reputation on putting Client Safety and Comfort FIRST.

They choose Carbamide Peroxide gels for reasons of safety and comfort, and find that they can achieve comparable results to HP gels, using these much safer compounds. The Teeth Whitening Practioners at CelebritySmile believe that if they have to take just a little longer over each client as compared to their competitors ( who place their focus on their profitability and speed ), then that is a very small price to pay to protect their customers well-being.

Ultimately the choice is up to YOU. However, many customers are very happy that they chose CelebritySmile teeth whitening services.

You should choose them too. They are, quite simply, Auckland ‘s BEST Teeth Whitening Professionals.

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