Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a common procedure in the cosmetic dentistry. Due to aging, changes in the mineral structure of the teeth, use of tobacco, consumption of some foods and drinks, or the intake of medications, your teeth become darker and stained. Then, teeth whitening comes as the solution. Since it is typically a process of bleaching the teeth, it is also known as ‘tooth’ or ‘dental bleaching’.

Common Whitening Methods
There are various teeth whitening methods and products. When you look for the best ones for you, remember that tooth whitening is a big industry. Approximately 2 billion dollars have been spent each year on advertisements telling people that “if your teeth are whiter, you look better, you feel better, and you are better”.

Depending on the extent of staining, your dentist may recommend the use of teeth whitening kits, in-office teeth whitening, laser teeth whitening, or another procedure. In-office teeth whitening is a form of professional dental bleaching. It takes place under the supervision of a dentist. Since this whitening method delivers quick results, it has gained wide popularity. On the downside, in-office teeth whitening is one of the most expensive methods to whiten your teeth. The process takes about an hour – hour and a half.

Laser teeth whitening is another type of professional dental bleaching. The laser is used along with a translucent bleaching gel. The procedure starts with the removal of any plaque from the gum tissue; next, the gel is applied, and the laser light is directed at the teeth to activate the gel. This is the quickest and most expensive method of teeth whitening. The procedure takes about an hour.

Teeth whitening kits (teeth whitening trays and gels) are another option. Teeth whitening trays and gels typically deliver good results. However, they take longer before the effects are visible, compared to professional types of bleaching. You can purchase them over-the-counter or from your dentist. The latter option is recommended because the teeth whitening trays and gels your dentist offers contain a strong peroxide agent. Teeth whitening trays and gels deliver results in a couple of weeks or three days, at best.

Teeth whitening strips are a comparatively new method of at-home teeth whitening. You can purchase them over-the-counter in most drugstores. These thin and flexible pieces of plastic, with one side coated with hydrogen peroxide, offer a simple, cheap, and effective tooth bleaching alternative. However, they take a bit longer to attain the desired result.

Other teeth whitening products can be used as well. These may be purchased or made at home. Among them are toothpastes, teeth whitening ampoules, baking soda, chewing gums, dental floss and dental rinses. Naturally, the effects depend on the person who uses them. For example, most teeth bleaching toothpastes contain mild abrasives and special chemicals to remove the stains and polish the enamel. Some people are very happy with the whitening effect others report no effect at all. Baking soda is a widely known at-home teeth whitening product, which can make your teeth brighter in less than 14 days. The other products mentioned are comparatively new, so further research may be necessary to prove or disprove their effectiveness.

Finally, it should be remembered that the results of teeth whitening, even of in-office treatment, are not permanent. The consumption of foods containing pigment and other substances will lead to discoloration eventually. Those who maintain good oral hygiene and stick to a healthy diet may enjoy the effects of teeth whitening longer.


The information provided in this article does not constitute medical advice and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. If you have a health problem you should consult a licensed physician.

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