Much like toothpaste, the world of teeth whitening has been dominated by the same ingredients for decades. There’s no doubt that peroxides (hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide) are effective at teeth whitening, but at what cost?
Teeth whitening doesn’t have to be a miserable process destined for itching, burning, and sensitivity. It’s about time we update these old methods and get excited about a peroxide-free future for teeth whitening....one where PAP, hydroxyapatite, and other natural ingredients steal the spotlight.
the history + reputation teeth whitening with peroxides
Did you know that teeth whitening has been around for centuries? From sticks to acid to filing down the enamel, our ancestors really valued a pearly white smile too.
In the late 19th century, dentists began using chlorine as a whitening agent. This was a super popular method until the early 20th century when hydrogen peroxide emerged. In 1960, dentist William Klusimer created the first peroxide-based whitening agents that remained popular for about a decade until formulas started getting stronger and stronger....and way harsher on the gums.
At this point, people were already looking for ways to make peroxide-based teeth whitening less harsh. As a result, carbamide peroxide was born in 1989. This combination of hydrogen peroxide and urea (a crystalline compound) is less intense on the gum tissue and tends to have fewer negative effects than hydrogen peroxide alone. But because it’s essentially “diluted” hydrogen peroxide, it requires higher concentrations to produce the same whitening effects as hydrogen peroxide.
Fast forward to today, and hydrogen peroxide + carbamide peroxide both still dominate the world of teeth whitening. Their reputations are mixed: on the one hand, they’re undeniably effective at bleaching and whitening teeth; on the other hand, they’re still very harsh and cause burning, itching, redness, swelling, and tooth sensitivity for many people.
As a result, many countries have restrictions or bans placed on cosmetic products that contain hydrogen peroxide.
- The EU: Cosmetic products that contain over 6% hydrogen peroxide are banned in the EU. Products containing 0.1% or less can be sold directly to consumers, and those containing 0.1-6% must be sold to dental professionals.
- Canada: If the cosmetic product contains over 3% hydrogen peroxide, the product must display clear evidence that it’s safe for use and labels with strict cautionary statements.
- Japan: the use of hydrogen peroxide in cosmetics is strictly banned in Japan.
- The US: The FDA has stated that most peroxide-containing teeth whitening products fit the description of a cosmetic product, and cosmetics in the US do not require FDA approval. Consequently, peroxide-containing whitening products are not regulated in the US.
No matter what country you’re in, many of these peroxide-based products contain warnings that instruct you to ensure you don’t swallow the formula, keep it away from your gums, and only keep it on your teeth for a very specific amount of time (not too long).
At Davids, we believe that if your oral care products must carry these warnings, they’re not safe or reliable enough for regular use. To us, this is not oral “care”, so we prefer a more natural approach using PAP teeth whitening and natural whitening toothpaste.
our favorite forms of natural teeth whitening
From everyday whitening to target treatments, there are some amazing natural alternatives to hydrogen peroxide that can give you a sparkling white smile without all the negative side effects.
PAP teeth whitening
Phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (aka PAP, since it’s such a mouthful) is a synthetic organic acid that promotes bleaching. This milder, more natural alternative to peroxide is effective at teeth whitening....without the harsh negative side effects.
If you see it being called PAP+, that means it’s PAP formulated with hydroxyapatite, a remineralizing ingredient that’s known to strengthen the enamel and soothe sensitivity (you know, the one found in Davids Sensitive + Whitening Nano-Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste).
So, how does PAP teeth whitening avoid the negative side effects of peroxides? Well, peroxides release free radicals (unstable, damaging atoms) as they work their whitening magic. These free radicals can damage your tissues and cells. Remember, the tissues that line your cheeks and gums are very sensitive, so they’re prone to irritation and inflammation. PAP teeth whitening does not release free radicals as it works, so it’s a lot gentler on the mouth.
Sounds pretty good to us! Maybe it’s finally time to update an old trend that’s been dominated by peroxides since 1960.
natural teeth whitening with Davids
Every flavor of our natural toothpaste contains ingredients that work to polish and whiten your teeth, some of which include:
- calcium carbonate: this mild abrasive assists in reducing plaque and surface stains as well as whitening and polishing your teeth. Our calcium carbonate comes from a quarry in PA, and our suppliers process it to meet the strictest standards for purity.
- baking soda: this popular ingredient works to neutralize plaque-forming acids in your mouth while removing surface stains, whitening, and polishing.
- hydrated silica: this material, which is naturally derived from silica (a material that makes up 12% of the earth’s surface), also works to safely whiten and polish your teeth. While other brands may use low-quality silica imported from around the world, we use the highest quality USA-made hydrated silica with ultra-fine microscopic particles to ensure it’s safe for everyday use on your enamel.
- sodium cocoyl glutamate: this natural alternative to SLS is derived from coconut materials. It’s used to create a mild and gentle foaming action, allowing our other ingredients to distribute efficiently throughout your oral microbiome. This helps the Davids cleaning and whitening process!
On top of these amazing ingredients, our sensitive + whitening nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste contains hydroxyapatite (surprise!), which is another incredible ingredient that works to whiten your teeth while strengthening your enamel. Research shows that hydroxyapatite has the ability to whiten your teeth while simultaneously remineralizing your enamel to relieve sensitivity. This is a refreshing combination, as conventional peroxide-based whitening products can damage your enamel and cause significant sensitivity.
There you have it, teeth whitening solutions that nurture your holistic health.