Sunday, April 5, 2009

Teeth whitening gum

One of the ways advertised for whitening teeth is a product called teeth whitening gum. The idea is that the dental patient chews the gum and as he or she does so the ingredients in the gum is slowly released which has the effect of removing the stain on the teeth. For example, the company Supersmile created an attractive can of gum called Supersmile Professional Whitening gum with CALPROX. What is CALPROX? It's a fancy name for the chemical carbamide peroxide! And carbamide peroxide is the main active chemical in teeth whitening trays. So teeth whitening gum really follow the same principles as teeth whitening trays except it's in gum form. Now one question we would ask is whether this will actually work? There are two really serious problems with the idea of whitening teeth by chewing gum. I mean, if it really worked, then why do dentists still get patients who want to use the custom treatments? Everyone would be going onto Amazon and just getting the gum instead of spending hours at the dentist sitting still getting those tray fitted. Well, here are the two problems with teeth whitening gum.
1) Chewing the gum moves it around the mouth, but never evenly immerses the enamel surface of your teeth in the CALPROX ingredient at all times. If it's not evenly covering it for extended periods of time, then the CALPROX can't possibly work.
2) The amount of CALPROX in the gum is just way too weak to have any effect on the teeth! This is the most serious issue. If there were a prescription dose of peroxide in each piece of gum, then maybe we'd expect a little bit of an effect. But the truth is that these OTC products can never have enough peroxide to have the right effect of whitening the teeth.

Here is what one product description says on Amazon:
"NEW All natural Sugar-free Supersmile Professional Whitening Gum with CALPROX® quickly and effectively whitens teeth, freshens breath, promotes healthier gums and removes superficial surface stains with every use. And Supersmile Professional Whitening Gum is sweetened with XYLITOL® the natural cavity inhibitor preferred by dental professionals."