My quest for whiter teeth is an ongoing journey. Although I experimented with dental strips in high school, after feeling sore gums (a common side effect of whitening products), I gave them up. It never bothered me that my teeth were slightly more yellow than I wanted. But after I got used to coffee in my forties (I rarely drank it until last year), I realized that my teeth, now, were in desperate need of major maintenance. By chance, I was ordering a mouthwash when I came across Bite Whitening Gel for Sensitive Teeth. As I trust and use other products from the brand (they offer plastic-free items like toothpaste and deodorant), I added the gel to my cart and couldn’t wait to start my stain removal process again.
Aesthetically, the gel comes in a pretty recyclable glass jar with an aluminum lid while the accompanying compostable brush is made from bamboo bristles and Caspian oil. There are nine ingredients in Bite’s gel, ranging from carbamide peroxide (the chemical that makes your teeth whiter) and xylitol (it repels cavity-causing bacteria) to peppermint oil and aloe vera (it soothes your gums and teeth). Because I had conducted research on the types of chemicals found in teeth whiteners, I wanted to understand the difference between carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredients found in all teeth whitening products. . Was one better or safer than the other?
“The biggest advantage of carbamide peroxide over hydrogen peroxide is that hydrogen peroxide releases whitening powder much faster, while carbamide peroxide reacts later and lasts longer,” tells me. Dr. Marc Sclafani of One Manhattan Dental. “Carbamide peroxide also has a high water content which helps prevent dehydration. [in your teeth, which can lead to sensitivity], but both ingredients will act as bleaches.
Sclafani also adds that it’s important to look for other ingredients in a product that can help prevent tooth sensitivity. “Look for potassium nitrate or amorphous calcium phosphate because they can protect you from sensitivity and decrease bacteria. [in your mouth],” he says.
With all of that in mind, I jumped into my two week trial with Bite gel. Before you even apply it, you need to make sure that your teeth are dry – I patted mine with a paper towel – and that you have properly brushed and flossed. (Sclafani points out that a clean surface is important for the whitening process and that flossing helps reduce gum sensitivity.) Then, I applied the gel and left it on for two minutes, which I repeated twice a day for 14 days. During these two minutes, your lips cannot touch your teeth so that the gel can set in. know.) After the time was up, I spat out the rest of the leave-in gel and avoided eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes as recommended. (I also had to avoid foods that stained my teeth during the whitening process, but alas, I couldn’t give up on my weekly coffee or matcha latte.)
Over the next two weeks, the only form of discomfort I felt was a temporary, minor feeling of numbness if the gel got on my gums. (Small white spots also formed on my gums during those two minutes, but quickly disappeared afterwards.) “[The white spots] are similar to sunburn, so it’s not permanent damage and will go away, ”says Lindsay McCormick, CEO and Founder of Bite. “It’s part of the process because you put bleach on your teeth, although ours is a gentler product for sure. All of this didn’t deter me from using the gel (and I have a very low tolerance for pain) and after 14 days my teeth have become a bit whiter. I asked my boyfriend to confirm the results and he told me he noticed a little difference.
At this point, the high school moi would have given up in frustration over these minor results, but the 29 year old me knows that teeth whitening is indeed a work in progress. It takes patience, time and maintenance. McCormick adds that for those who are not happy with the results, the person can try again in two weeks. (Also, if you have any gel left – as I always do – you can keep it in your fridge and use it for up to a month.) I was happy that there was no lasting sensitivity to my gums or teeth – I can drink hot and cold drinks without any problems or additional irritation, so that I can continue to use the gel. I wait the required two weeks before using the rest of my current bottle. I also already have a second new pot waiting for me – it’s safe to say I’m obsessed.
Whether you want to maintain your pearly whites or plan to launch your own teeth whitening journey, start with the sensitive approved product choices ahead of time.
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