Tooth whitening is a popular way to brighten and whiten teeth, eliminating discoloration and stains. While at-home kits are widely available, dentists also offer professional whitening services. The most commonly used household whitening material is carbamide peroxide (CH6N2O) in a 10% gel formulation, which is usually supplied in a syringe for easy application. However, some products come in blisters.
When it comes to tooth discoloration that is not caused by simple staining, whitening must penetrate the tooth surface to achieve the desired color change. Many dental offices use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide for this purpose. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), these two ingredients are the most commonly used in whitening treatments. Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide can penetrate tooth enamel and break down discoloration without softening or weakening teeth, as explained by Elchami.