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How whitening works

And how does the process of teeth whitening work?

Tooth discolouration and staining are a result of various dyes and pigments attaching to the organic matter of your tooth. The process of lifting these stains is most commonly achieved by two methods: physical removal and chemical bleaching.

Physical removal targets superficial staining (surface level daily stains) through an abrasive method of action. Chemical bleaching works on both superficial and embedded stains (stains embedded in the tooth enamel), so it's the most common and effective method of teeth whitening.

So how does chemical bleaching remove stains from teeth?

Teeth whitening through chemical bleaching oxidises stains and alters the molecules that are responsible for holding colour. Simply put, the bleaching agents enter through the enamel of teeth and break down these molecules into smaller, simpler forms. The smaller the molecule, the lighter in colour, resulting in an overall whiter appearance of the tooth.

Some common bleaching agents include Hydrogen Peroxide, Carbamide Peroxide, and Phthalimidoperoxycaproic Acid (we call it PAP, for short).

What’s the difference between Peroxide & PAP?

Both PAP whitening and peroxide-based teeth whitening treatments use oxidising action to break down stains and lighten tooth appearance.

As part of this process, peroxide releases something known as free radicals. Free radicals readily attack organic molecules to reduce discolouration, but are also likely to cause unwanted side effects such as sensitivity, gum irritation, and demineralisation.

PAP similarly reacts with tooth stains, only without the release of free radicals. This means that the molecules responsible for discolouration are broken down safely, without any risk of sensitivity, pain, or damage.

Why isn’t PAP more widely used?

Most dentists continue to use peroxide-based whitening treatments in their practices, as a professional in-chair application is most likely to limit the side effects of free radical oxidisation. However, with the increase of access and popularity of at-home peroxide products, the safety of these treatments becomes questionable at best.

The use of PAP hasn't been widely explored by dentists, possibly due to its difficulty in formulation and stability. The higher the pH level of PAP, the more effective. Unfortunately, this means that the formula loses its effectiveness after a short amount of shelf time.

What makes PAP+ special?

We've spent years perfecting the optimal formulation process that maximises the benefits of PAP whilst maintaining its stability. The result is PAP+, a formula that effectively whitens teeth, without any of the unwanted side effects.

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