Enzymatic whitening: Safe and healthy home whitening for patients
KRIENS, Switzerland: Do-it-yourself (DIY) whitening kits may be popular, but in a worst-case scenario, they will do more harm than good. However, there is a safe and healthy method to whiten teeth at home that can be recommended to patients: enzymatic whitening. Enzymatic whitening is a perfect solution for patients who want whiter teeth, but without professional whitening or potentially harmful DIY bleaching kits.
When it comes to bleaching teeth at home, patients risk damaging their teeth with abrasive toothpastes or chemically aggressive bleaching kits. Luckily, natural, enzyme-based oral care products have been developed over the years that are safe for long-term daily use in order to restore the original tooth colour or maintain it after professional bleaching.
With the right formula, enzyme-based products not only improve the appearance of patients’ teeth but also provide additional protection to teeth and gingivae by supporting the oral microbiome’s natural functioning. Curaprox ‘Be you’ toothpaste is a textbook example of how the enzymatic reaction works and of what other ingredients a toothpaste for natural home whitening should contain.
How it works: The enzymatic reaction
Two ingredients lie at the basis of the enzymatic whitening: the enzyme glucose oxidase and dextrose. Dextrose, technically a sugar, merely serves as nourishment for the glucose oxidase, leaving no harmful residue. As soon as the toothpaste comes into contact with the air, the enzymatic reaction is kick-started: the glucose oxidase and dextrose react with oxygen and with each other. This all-natural process leads to the creation of two active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid.
Hydrogen peroxide has two oxygen particles, one of which is stored in the tooth enamel. As a consequence, the enamel appears whiter when light reflects off it. The leftover particles of hydrogen peroxide dissolve naturally. Gluconic acid—the second product of the enzymatic reaction—is a natural fruit acid that combats the growth of microorganisms. Despite containing such acids, the ‘Be you’ toothpaste’s pH value of 6.0–6.6 is well above the required safe minimum of 5.5.
Naturally boosting the mouth’s defences
It is important to note that enzyme components are naturally present in the mouth and saliva. Enzymatic toothpastes gently whiten teeth simply by further supporting the process of their creation. As such, enzymatic whitening is safe and healthy used on a daily basis. In addition to whitening, ‘Be you’ naturally protects the teeth in three extra ways:
- Reduced tooth sensitivity
Hydroxyapatite smoothens and brightens the teeth by remineralising enamel. The hydroxyapatite closes off microscopic fissures that expose dentine, reducing tooth sensitivity and preventing staining.
- Antibacterial protection
As the patient brushes, hydrogen peroxide reacts with the enzyme lactoperoxidase contained in saliva and with thiocyanate, an additional ‘Be you’ ingredient. This results in the production of hypothiocyanite, which has a strong antibacterial effect. Although saliva naturally exhibits antibacterial properties, this is significantly improved by hypothiocyanite.
- Plaque prevention
Xylitol, a naturally occurring polyol present in fruit and vegetables, reduces biofilm formation and prevents dental caries. Fluoride combats acid-producing bacteria and remineralises the enamel.
Curaprox ‘Be you’ is made in Switzerland and comes in six juicy flavours. It has low abrasiveness, having a relative dentine abrasivity value of 50, and it contains no sodium lauryl sulphate, no triclosan and no microplastics. ‘Be you’ is available here.