What does this equation mean to you?:
Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2(s) + 8H+(aq) → 10Ca2+(aq) + 6HPO42-(aq) + 2H2O(l)
If you're like most people, the answer is probably "nothing." But if you happen to specialize in dental chemistry, you'll recognize it as the reaction of tooth minerals with acids, a process called "demineralization." For people with bad breath and tooth decay, this chemical reaction is constantly going on in their mouths, making effective teeth whitening very important for them.
Tooth enamel is primarily made of a mineral called calcium hydroxyapatite (the Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 of the chemical equation above). This is the hard, dense stuff that makes your teeth strong and keeps them white.
However, our diets naturally encourage odor-causing bacteria to eat away at our teeth, producing acids that gradually break down enamel. This leads to yellowing, halitosis and a higher risk of cavities.
What can you do about it? First, consider using a specialty teeth whitening product. TheraBreath recently unveiled three new whitening tools - the Professional Whitening Kit, our Touch-Up Whitening Pens and a special Sensitivity Treatment Pen - that can brighten teeth quickly.
The Professional Whitening Kit is specially made to facilitate dental remineralization, which reduces the risk of cavities even as it makes teeth cleaner and shinier. Touch-Up Whitening pens let you spot-treat your teeth, while the Sensitivity Treatment Pen reduces any little irritation caused by the whitening process.
Also, it's important to prevent demineralization in the first place. This means avoiding sugary drinks (even sweetened fruit juices) or drinking them through a straw to reduce dental exposure to sugars, which encourage acid production.
Furthermore, you'll need to kill oral bacteria, since these microbes invade weakened enamel and break down tooth minerals. Using a specialty rinse to eliminate bacteria can nix halitosis and prevent cavity formation.