Tooth whitening kits have come a very long way since their debut back in the 1990's. It is no wonder, considering how much money consumers spend on products designed to give them whiter teeth and a brighter smile. The big hair of the nineties is gone and so are the initial whitening kits, but the new versions are so much better. Perhaps a little trip down memory lane is in order for you to realize just how far dental practices have come from those first kits you used at home.
How do Tooth Whitening Kits Work
The first commercial teeth whitening system was a plastic cup designed to be molded to your teeth and a whitening gel that would fill the cup. You first had to boil the cup and then shape it specifically to your mouth. Each night at bedtime, you would fill the cup with the proper amount of gel and then you would sleep with the contraption in your mouth. The gel would do the work while you slept. Simply wake up and take the pieces out. Sounds really easy, right?
The actual problem, besides the hassle of molding the plastic pieces, is that the gel lost its effectiveness within an hour or two. The gel would also be swallowed during the night. Many people reported sore throats and increased gum sensitivity. Tooth whitening kits began to decline in sales because people became disillusioned with the safety of the product and the hassle of using it, just to get whiter teeth.
Scientists, after making the discovery that the primary ingredient in the gel lost its effectiveness after an hour, devised different kits that meant the user would wear them for a less amount of time. Today's kits contain a higher concentration of the whitening agent used in tooth bleaching. Most kits are now strips that the user wears for a very short amount of time, either in the morning or the evening.
Tooth whitening kits have certainly come a long way. The 90's big hair styles are gone and so are the complicated teeth whitening systems that took all night to work. Even the kits have dropped dramatically in price. Whitening strips combined with effective toothpaste are now the commonly found items in consumers' bathroom cabinets. They take less time and are less messy. The one downside that still remains is that awful tasting gel. Maybe if it were cookie flavored more people would have whiter teeth.