PEO-assisted precipitation of human enamel-like fluorapatite films for tooth whitening
Dental appearance is a significant concern given that the general public is dissatisfied with their tooth colour (Alkhatib et al., J. Dent., 2004, 32, 561–566). The existing products for tooth-whitening, such as peroxide, can cause damage to the teeth and the whitening effect tends not to last long. In this study a new method was developed to whiten teeth by constructing fluorapatite crystals in polyethylene oxide solution on the natural tooth surface. By adding polyacrylamide to solidify the whole system, a layer of well compacted fluorapatite film was successfully precipitated onto the natural enamel surface. The reconstructed layer is analogous to the natural enamel's chemical components, micro-architectural structure and mechanical properties, and efficiently whitens teeth. The mechanism of how these structures were formed and how the whitening effect was achieved are also proposed.