They’re already the most effective teeth whitening products on the market, but researchers have now confirmed that gel-and-tray bleaching kits also preserve tooth enamel, rather than eroding dental minerals. This means that you can whiten your teeth and neutralize bad breath while maintaining strong, healthy chompers.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, researchers from Sao Paulo, Brazil, set out to test the effects of teeth whitening kits on tooth enamel. To do so, the team recruited 80 volunteers, each of whom received one of four bleaching agents.
The authors then regularly took enamel samples during and after the bleaching process, analyzing them for levels of calcium and phosphorus.
Researchers found that these minerals, which are essential for tooth strength, remained in virtually the same quantities after bleaching. The team concluded that teeth whitening kits appear to leave enamel as strong as it was before bleaching.
A previous study, also published in the JADA, had already established that teeth whitening products don’t alter the texture of enamel, which indicates that these kits have do no damage to the molecular architecture of the teeth.
Saliva helps keep enamel healthy
Intriguingly, the most recent study pointed to saliva as one of the factors that interact with teeth whitening agents to help keep enamel strong.
As explained by Rabia Mughal, associate editor of the dental science website Dr. Bicuspid, saliva appears to act as a buffer, while simultaneously bringing vital ions to calcium and phosphorus atoms, thereby allowing teeth to remineralize.
Such results indicate that mouth-wetting specialty whitening kits are best. Such products not only protect enamel, but they also prevent the onset of bad breath by supplying the mouth with additional moisture.