New research has led to the development of a new teeth whitening treatment that researchers have suggested provides quicker, better and safer whitening results. Because tooth whitening is so popular, this news will be welcomed by those hoping to get cosmetic dentistry treatments in the future. Their treatment involves the use of an agent named Sodium metabisulfite – as opposed to traditional chemicals like hydrogen peroxide.

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New research has led to the development of a new teeth whitening treatment. This treatment has been heralded by researchers as a treatment that can provide quicker, safer and more effective whitening results for its users.

Traditional teeth whitening products have used either Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide. However, the researchers found that the active agent Sodium metabisulfite also has strong teeth whitening potential.

Their findings suggest that in the near future, those seeking teeth whitening will potentially have a wider choice of treatments. However, the treatment will require further testing.


Teeth whitening is an incredibly popular cosmetic treatment. For example, a recent study found that the worldwide teeth whitening market will be worth over $8billion by 2030 [1]!

Existing teeth whitening products usually use either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the main ingredient. To achieve a whitening effect, these products are used for their oxidizing effect.

Both hydrogen and carbamide have a strong oxidizing power. But for optimum results, high concentrations of these agents are required and longer application times typically follow.

Whilst both can provide strong results, they also have the downside of side effects. For instance, side effects of longer applications can include hypersensitivity, pulp damage and gum irritation [2].

Furthermore, a 2021 study found that carbamide peroxide can actually make teeth more vulnerable to decay by weakening enamel [3]. This shows that while these products can have the desired effect of whitening teeth, there can be caveats too.

The Research

The researchers entered their research seeking to find a new way of whitening teeth. Instead of focusing on oxidizing agents, they investigated reducing agents. They eventually settled on the reducing agent Sodium metabisulfite [4].

Results of the research were published in the Dental Materials journal [4]. The research was conducted by the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), an institution in Spain, Europe.

The researchers used incisors from bovines for their study [4]. The bovine teeth were similar to human teeth and therefore acted as a proxy for the human teeth that would be used in reality.

Oxidizing agents work by breaking the double bonds of stained molecules on a tooth, which makes them unable to absorb light [4]. Consequently, the molecules become transparent – resulting in a brighter and whiter smile.

However, reducing agents like Sodium metabisulfite work in a different way. The authors have developed and patented the treatment, which involves making the stained molecules colorless [4]. The threat to enamel is lowered this way, increasing safety.

Sodium metabisulfite also has the positive of whitening teeth faster. This would allow dental professionals to use lower amounts of the agent and for a shorter amount of time [4]. Therefore, this would make treatment faster and more efficient – as the agent would not need to be in contact with teeth for long.

The results showed that the whitening effect of the Sodium metabisulfite treatment was much better than previous treatments in terms of application time and side effects [4].

What this means

These findings are positive. We all hope to have whiter teeth, though many people are put off of teeth whitening out of fear of pain. Whilst Sodium metabisulfite wouldn’t automatically be safe for everyone, it does seem to have less side effects than existing options.

Manuel Valiente, a professor at the UAB’s Department of Chemistry. explained the results. Valiente said “the whitening effect increased when metabisulfite is encapsulated within liposomes (vesicles made out of lipids), since it favors the diffusion of the reducing agent into the enamel, obtaining significant whitening results in 3 minutes” [5].

When looking ahead to the future, it will be necessary for safety trials to take place. Moreover, the agent will also need to be tested on human teeth. However, the findings are positive.

These findings suggest that in the future, Sodium metabisulfite could be a key ingredient in teeth whitening products. This new agent could potentially be very useful for many people.

Thinking points…

1) If you are interested in teeth whitening, then Taradale Dental is a great place to come! Our Calgary dental clinic offers both in-office whitening and take-home whitening kits. We also offer consultations for those considering whitening, giving you a chance to ask any questions you may have. If you are interested in hearing more about our cosmetic treatment options, then contact us today!

2) While cosmetic dentistry is certainly appealing, we cannot afford to neglect our general dental health. If you look after your teeth with excellent oral hygiene, there is less chance of you ever needing cosmetic work, which saves you money! The best way to get your oral health checked and get some advice from a dentist – would be to attend a regular check-up. We would recommend booking an appointment now!

What we offer at Taradale Dental

Taradale Dental is a dental clinic based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We provide our patients with a warm welcome, a comfortable experience and advice whenever needed.

We recommend that our patients attend our Calgary-based dental clinic twice a year for a regular dental check-up. When problems are detected, we have many treatments available. For instance, these include cavity fillings and root canals.

Here at Taradale Dental, we also have some cosmetic treatments available! These include dental implants, tooth whitening and Invisalign™! These treatments can have a positive impact on your appearance, confidence, and self-esteem.

Importantly, we recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly. Moreover, eating healthily and trying to avoid sugary foods and drink is helpful.

In addition, all of our services at our Calgary dental clinic Taradale Dental are in line with the Alberta Dental Fee Guide.

We would love you to visit our Taradale Dental clinic in Calgary! You can find out more about us by visiting our website


[1] Astute Analytica. (2022). Global Teeth Whitening Products Market Size Expected to Reach USD 8,316.50 Million by 2030|CAGR: 6.03%: Astute Analytica. Available: Last accessed: 22nd April 2022.

[2] NHS. (2022). Teeth whitening. Available: Last accessed: 22nd April 2022.

[3] Redha, O., Mazinanian, M., Nguyen, S., Son, D. O., Lodyga, M., Hinz, B., Odlyha, M., McDonald, A., & Bozec, L. (2021). Compromised dental cells viability following teeth-whitening exposure. Scientific Reports. 11 (15547). DOI:

[4] Babot-Marquillas, C., Sánchez-Martin, M-J., Amigo, J. M., Yousef, I., Valido, I. H., Boada, R., & Valiente, M. (2022). Tooth whitening, oxidation or reduction? Study of physicochemical alterations in bovine enamel using Synchrotron based Micro-FTIR. Dental Materials. 38 (4): p670-679. DOI:

[5] Autonomous University of Barcelona. (2022). Synchrotron light for faster and more effective tooth whitening treatments. Available: Last accessed: 22nd April 2022.