Teeth Whitening and Bleaching

Over one-third of people are worried about how their teeth look, nearly 20 percent cover their teeth in pictures, and more than 70 percent of adults think having an unattractive smile will hurt their chances of succeeding in their careers, according to the research. People seek to make sure their teeth look their best because your smile accounts for such a significant percentage of the impression you make.

Difference between Tooth Whitening and Bleaching

Have you ever wondered what makes teeth bleaching vary from teeth whitening?

difference between teeth whiting and bleaching

Teeth Whitening

A teeth-whitening technique involves regaining the original color of teeth, which you can achieve by removing stains from the tooth surface. Several toothpastes and mouthwashes contain cleaning agents known as whiteners.

Teeth Bleaching

Bleaching teeth means lightening teeth more than their natural shade. The most common bleaching agents in teeth whitening procedures are active components like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.

The terms “teeth whitening” and “teeth bleaching” are frequently used interchangeably, despite the definition of their differences. It is more important to define the terms’ usage in dental offices and product marketing than their actual definitions to distinguish between them. Tooth whitening is often the process of eliminating surface stains to return teeth to their natural hue. This is how it’s described among dentists and in product descriptions. By utilizing chemical agents to lighten the color of the tooth enamel, sometimes beyond the natural color of the teeth, tooth bleaching goes a step further.

In the end, regardless of the method used, most patients desire to enhance their teeth’ color and brightness. Let’s look at your possibilities if you want to improve your smile.

Tooth Whitening Options

Tooth Whitening option

There are now three main ways to perform tooth whitening.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

The primary benefit of in-office whitening is the rapid, observable color change. This method involves using a paint-on rubber dam to shield the gums before a dentist or other qualified professional uses a peroxide gel with a reasonably high concentration on the teeth. Usually, the peroxide stays on the teeth for 15 to 20 minutes, which totals an hour at most. Those with tough stains may be urged to continue using a home-use device or suggested returning for one or more additional bleaching sessions.

At-Home Tooth Bleaching

The most popular and common options for teeth whitening at home are as follows:

Whitening Gels and Strips for Teeth

These peroxide-based tooth bleaching preparations often must be applied once or twice daily for 10 to 14 days directly to the teeth with a brush or a thin strip. It may cost between $10 and $55.

Systems for Whitening Teeth that use trays

This procedure uses a mouth guard-like tray loaded with a peroxide-containing whitening paste or gel placed on the teeth for one to several hours each day for up to four weeks. You can get a custom-fitted tray-based tooth whitening system from your dentist or purchase one off the shelf. The price might be between $150 and $600.

Toothpaste that Whitens Teeth

Due to their moderate abrasiveness, all kinds of toothpaste help to remove stains from teeth. To assist in eliminating stains from teeth, however, whitening toothpaste also contains chemicals or polishing agents that function without applying a bleaching agent. The typical $5 tooth-whitening toothpaste only lightens teeth by about one shade. Peroxides are central components in particular whitening toothpaste, but they should be applied to the teeth long enough to whiten them.

Over-the-Counter Items for Teeth Whitening

Over-the-counter bleaching is the least expensive and most convenient teeth whitening option. It uses a store-bought whitening kit and bleaching gel with a lesser concentration than take-home professionally administered whiteners. Using standardized trays, strips, or paint-on applicators, you can apply gel to your teeth. This technique often only whitens a few of the front teeth, as opposed to bespoke trays, which can bleach the complete smile.

What activities should you avoid to maintain white teeth?

You may help preserve the results by brushing, flossing, and rinsing your teeth daily, whether you use an at-home whitening system or have your teeth bleached by a dentist. Additionally, stay away from acidic and tannic foods and other items, such as:

  • Coffee and black tea
  • Red and white wines
  • Sports Drink or Energy Drinks
  • Carbonated beverages (sodas in both light and dark colors)
  • Berries and other foods with vibrant colors
  • Sauces (Soy, tomato, and curry)

Possible Risks Involved in Teeth Bleaching

possible risks in tooth bleaching

When we do everything as instructed, teeth whitening treatments are considered safe. However, there are a few bleaching-related risks that you should be aware of:


You can experience a temporary increase in sensitivity to pressure, warmth, and touch after bleaching. Sensitivity is most likely to happen during in-office whitening, which uses bleach with a higher concentration.

Gum inflammation

The bleach concentration or contact with the trays causes gum soreness in over half of the people who use peroxide whiteners. This irritation can linger for a few days but usually goes away if you stop the bleaching process or reduce the peroxide content.

Technicolor Teeth

While the teeth around them become white, restorations like bonding, dental crowns, or veneers maintain their natural color because bleach does not affect them. It leads to what is known as Technicolor teeth.

Safety in Teeth Whitening and Bleaching

When used correctly, teeth whitening and bleaching products are safe.

  • The safest products include toothpaste and over-the-counter rinses; almost anyone can use them. Some people could experience issues with more aggressive items and techniques. As with any chemical treatment, knowing about the potential side effects and health issues is the best action.
  • Some persons with teeth whitened or bleached feel tooth discomfort or gum sensitivity. It might result from therapies administered too frequently or with solid chemical solutions. It can also indicate that the patient has a low tolerance for that medication. These types of discomfort are typically transient, and you can manage them with anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • More severe adverse effects could be caused by pre-existing cavities or worn tooth enamel. Whitening agents can cause excruciating pain because they penetrate teeth. They may permanently harm the roots.

Reasons to Consult Your Dentist

When you bleach teeth, they may become momentarily more sensitive or cause discomfort for those with sharp teeth. Home kits can sometimes burn or even momentarily bleach gums when improperly utilized. Tooth whitening is most beneficial for people with yellow teeth; individuals with brown teeth receive less benefit. Tooth whitening generally does little for you if your teeth are grey or purple. Before using an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit, consult your dentist to be sure it is worth your time and money.


In conclusion, bleaching teeth and teeth whitening are excellent ways to get a more radiant smile. Even though many products and techniques are available, it’s crucial to speak with a dental expert to find the right course of action for your requirements and oral health. You can have a stunning, bright smile for a long time if you properly care for it. So don’t be shy about flashing your teeth, and keep smiling!

Click to learn about periodontal gum disease.

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