Carbamide vs. Hydrogen Peroxide for Teeth Whitening - What's the Difference?

Your smile is the window to your personality. It can add eons to your appearance and that’s the reason people maintain their oral hygiene. A bright smile can help you win over people and that’s the truth!

Although there are many advantages to a bright smile, sometimes it’s hard to maintain those pearly whites. An unhealthy lifestyle or health problems can cause your white teeth to stain. And just like that, you can lose your bright smile.

Now that many people face the inconvenience of yellowed and stained teeth, they need ways to counter the effects. Help came in the form of teeth whitening procedures and products. Now you can get back your pearly whites and at a reasonable price!

You can opt for a professional procedure and get the best help from renowned dentists. Another way of brightening your smile is to invest in some teeth whitening products. From the comforts of your home or at your dentist’s office, your great, white smile is within your grasp now!

It’s true that teeth whitening has changed lives for the better. It is a tried and tested method and you’ll get plenty of testimonials from satisfied customers.

You too might be thinking of going for the procedure. But before you make the final decision wouldn’t you want to know how the procedure works? It’s better to go for the procedure with some idea about its components.

The topic of today’s discussion is the main agent in teeth whitening products. There are two main ingredients that all teeth whitening products have: carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. These bleaching agents are hard on stains and help to give your teeth their old sparkle back.

So what’s the difference between the two and what makes them such powerful bleaching agents? Let’s explore their distinctive characteristics and help you make informed decisions.

Break Down Rate

Break down rate measures how fast the bleaching agents start to work. Since hydrogen peroxide breaks down faster among the two bleaching agents, it releases most of its whitening power within 30-60 minutes after the treatment.

Carbamide peroxide however, just releases 50% of its bleaching power within the first hour or two. It remains active for up to six hours while releasing the bleaching power.


There’s not much difference between the results for the two bleaching agents. They both provide equally bright results when it comes to teeth whitening.

The results differ for the two bleaching agents when measured for the sensitivity they can cause. The effects of hydrogen peroxide can cause sensitivity as compared to the products that have carbamide peroxide as a bleaching agent.


There are plenty of products that people can use to whiten their teeth at home. The industry has experienced a boom lately and therefore you can easily get teeth whitening products from the market. Just be careful when buying home kits as both the bleaching agents have different requirements when it comes to application.

You can use carbamide peroxide at home as it doesn’t require professional supervision. However, it is still recommended that you consult a dentist before going forward with the DIY. Hydrogen peroxide should always be used in a controlled environment. The bleaching agent can cause extreme gum irritation and hyper tooth sensitivity. Under a professional’s supervision, you’ll be able to get the help you need in case the effects worsen.

Gel Concentrations

The type of the gel used and its concentration is what ultimately determines the effectiveness of the procedure. The longevity of results and the frequency of the treatment are also determined by the gel concentrates.

Since hydrogen peroxide gel can cause irritation and sensitivity, dentists usually use gels with concentration of about 25% - 38%. Even with such a small amount of hydrogen peroxide in the gel, dentists have to use gingival barriers and cheek retractors to minimize the contact of the bleaching agent with anything other than your teeth.

Another option is available where the gel concentration is up to 16% of hydrogen peroxide. This bleaching agent is generally used for 1 hour laser teeth whitening treatments. Since the gel is quite potent, the application process is intricate. The dentist carefully applies the gel on the fronts of the teeth using an applicator pen. Cheek retractors are also used to limit the contact of the gel with any other part of your mouth except teeth.

For people who prefer to use pre-filled mouth trays during teeth whitening, 22% - 44% carbamide peroxide gel is the best option. This is the safest option for people who want to avail the ease of a home kit.


Treatments that use gels with 25% - 38% of hydrogen peroxide are called power whitening. They have a high potency ratio and hence dentists advise not to overdo the frequency of the treatment. Getting the procedure done once a year is enough and it’s essential for your safety that you don’t increase the frequency.

As for the gel concentration of up to 16% hydrogen peroxide, you can get the treatment once every six months.

Continuous applications of the bleaching agent help get the desired result. You can carry on for a maximum of two weeks of daily treatment.  

Teeth whitening is slowly changing the way people perceive their smile. To gain confidence, many people have availed this opportunity and you can too in an affordable way. ZendyHealth has made the searching part easier for you and has made teeth whitening more accessible. Learn more about how to save on teeth whitening with the best providers or request a quote today and say yes to a brand new, pearly white smile!

HSA Eligibility—This procedure is most likely an eligible procedure for your Health Savings Account (HSA). Please check with your HSA administrator. Don’t have an HSA? Learn more about the triple-tax savings benefit with an HSA from one of our partners here.

Self-Pay—Making an offer through ZendyHealth represents self-pay or cash prices. Insurance not valid.  


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