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What is Teeth Whitening Gel?

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We’re sure most people would agree that having bright, white teeth gives you great confidence and will certainly give you a reason to smile. So, it makes sense that many people are interested in teeth whitening. As experts in teeth whitening, we’ve put together a handy guide to give you all the information you’ll need about teeth whitening gel. Carry on reading to discover the ins and outs.  


What is teeth whitening gel and how does it work?

Teeth whitening gel is the substance that holds a whitening ingredient to whiten your teeth. These ingredients could include hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide or PAP (phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid). This gel is often created to be used in a teeth whitening tray, which you’ll wear in your mouth. However, you can sometimes find teeth whitening gel or serum in a pen format that you can easily apply directly to your teeth.  

The whitening ingredients in the teeth whitening gel or serum release an oxygen molecule that gets below your enamel and causes a reaction to change the chemical structure of stains, which removes discolouration. This ingredient will also work to remove stains on the surface of your teeth. 

The important part of a teeth whitening gel or serum is often the length of time it’s in contact with your teeth. The longer it has contact, the better it works. That being said, you should only use a teeth whitening gel for the specific amount of time a manufacturer recommends, or you could end up causing yourself harm.


How to choose the right teeth whitening gel for you

With so many teeth whitening gels on the market, choosing the best one for your needs can be difficult. Here are a few things to think about when making your choice:

  • Try using a teeth whitening gel or serum that’s been clinically proven
  • Be sure that the whitening gel or serum you choose is safe for your enamel
  • Look a product from a reputable brand 
  • Choose a teeth whitening gel or serum that’s easy to use
  • Teeth whitening gels used by dental professionals for home whitening are often a lot more expensive than ones you can find online or in the shops, so choose one that’s in your price range
  • Look out for strong claims about how well the product works
  • Some people find teeth whitening gels can be a bit messy, which is something you should also consider


Using our teeth whitening serum: Instructions and tips

At Colgate, we’ve been working tirelessly to create our Max White Overnight Whitening Pen. The whitening serum in the pen reverses up to 15 years of stains caused by food and drinks in just 3 weeks with continued use. 

Our whitening serum dries really quickly and sticks to your teeth until you brush them. This is important because it ensures the whitening ingredient stays in contact with your teeth for the maximum amount of time, which helps to make it work effectively.

One of the great benefits of our whitening serum, is that you’ll “paint” it onto your teeth before you go to bed and it gets to work while you sleep. And with 4 simple steps, it’s super easy to use:

Step 1 – DRY

After brushing your teeth before bed, dry them very well with a tissue. This is really important to ensure the whitening serum sticks to your teeth. 

Step 2 – CLICK

Click the end of the pen until a small drop of the serum appears on the brush. The first time you use the pen, you might need to click it up to 20 times before the teeth whitening serum appears. 

Step 3 – APPLY

Apply a single, thin layer of the quick-drying serum to each tooth across the top row of your teeth and wait 10-15 seconds for the invisible film to form. Dry the bottom row of your teeth and repeat the same process. 1-2 drops of serum is enough to cover up to 4 teeth. You should try to avoid getting any of the serum on your gums. Wipe the brush clean with a dry tissue and never water. 

Step 4 - SLEEP & BRUSH

Head off for a good night's sleep while the serum whitens your teeth overnight. The next morning, brush your teeth as usual to easily remove the invisible film.


Teeth whitening gel vs other whitening methods

Besides using a teeth whitening gel, there are other ways to whiten your teeth. You can use a daily whitening toothpaste to remove stains. Unlike regular whitening toothpaste that just removes surface stains, our Max White Ultra Toothpaste and Max White Ultimate Toothpaste safely get below your enamel to reverse stains caused by food and drink.

You could also look into teeth whitening strips. These work in a similar way to a peroxide teeth whitening gel in that the peroxide, or other whitening ingredient, is stuck onto the surface of the strip. When you apply it to your teeth, the whitening ingredient does its work. Some people experience gum sensitivity with whitening strips, which is something you should keep in mind.  


Potential risks and side effects of teeth whitening gel

Teeth whitening gel will usually contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which may cause sensitivity or gum irritation if not applied properly. However, you should know that, if you buy a teeth whitening product online or in the shops, it’s not legally allowed to have more than 0.1% peroxide in it, which usually does not cause any sensitivity. 

Teeth whitening gels used by dentists will contain much higher levels of peroxide, which is why you can’t buy them over the counter. Your dentist will need to make sure that their teeth whitening gel is suitable for you.


How to maintain the results of teeth whitening gel

If you’ve decided to use a teeth whitening gel or serum for a few weeks, you’ll want to make sure your teeth stay as white as they can. Here are some helpful tips to maintain your whitening results:

  • Use a teeth whitening toothpaste to continue removing stains. You might want to try our Max White Ultimate Toothpaste which, unlike regular whitening toothpaste that just removes surface stains, it safely penetrates enamel to remove deep-set stains caused by food and drink. 

  •  Try rinsing with our Max White Mouthwash, which can also help to keep your smile white and bright.

  • Avoid foods and drinks that can stain your teeth like tea, coffee, red wine, curries and berries. We put together a handy guide of 5 foods and drinks that can stain your teeth and what you can do to prevent it. Read it here.


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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.