Objectives: To evaluate the effects of fluoridated bleaching agents and post-bleaching fluoridation treatment on the whitening efficiency and microhardness of bovine enamel. Methods: Twenty five freshly extracted bovine incisors were cut into halves, embedded and then divided into the following five groups: Group 1, untreated controls; Group 2, treatment with 10% carbamide peroxide (CP) bleaching agent; Group 3, treatment with 10% CP followed by a 0.9% sodium fluoride gel application, Group 4, treatment with 10% CP containing 0.11% fluoride; Group 5, treatment with an experimental bleaching agent consisting of 10% CP and 0.37% fluoride. Groups 2-5 were treated 8 h per day for 14 days then immersed in saliva for 2 weeks. Enamel morphology changes were evaluated under SEM on Day 14. Changes in enamel color and microhardness were evaluated on Days 7 and 14, and compared with the baseline data. Additionally, microhardness was determined on post-bleaching Days 21 and 28. Results: After 2 weeks, an erosion pattern was noted on the specimens in Groups 2 and 3. Groups 4 and 5 showed a milder demineralized pattern. All the bleached enamel specimens revealed increased whiteness and overall color value. Groups 2 and 3 showed significantly decreased enamel microhardness compared to their baseline data. The specimens treated with fluoridated bleaching agents showed relatively less reduction in enamel microhardness than those treated with nonfluoridated agents during the bleaching treatment. Conclusions: The fluoridated bleaching agents produced less demineralization of surface morphology and microhardness. The addition of fluoride did not impede the whitening effect.
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