How Tooth Whitening Works

Throughout your life, your teeth go through normal cycles of developing stains, whether it be from coffee, tea, smoking, or just normal life. While daily brushing and regular visits to your dentist can help remove these stains, there are also some other remedies you can rely on that will help with them.

How it works

All tooth whitening products use some form of bleaching to whiten teeth several shades brighter; it doesn’t matter whether it’s an in-home or in-office treatment. Bleaching can remove deep surface stains and, with some procedures, immediately make your teeth whiter. Some treatments may last up to a year, but then you’ll need to go back for a follow-up treatment. In order to work, an active ingredient must be present in the bleach used, which is most often carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is incredibly safe to use at the dosage present in teeth whitening products. Carbamide peroxide is a product that essentially breaks down to hydrogen peroxide and shows results more quickly, though over a span of a few weeks, the results between the two are the same. Another simple ingredient used in many toothpastes is mild abrasives, which can remove surface stains from your teeth.

Different options

Now that you have a basic understanding of how tooth whitening and the ingredients in products work, there are various options for actually having the procedure done. The first option, which produces results the most quickly, is chairside bleaching in your dentist’s office. This procedure usually costs somewhere around $500 or more and works the most quickly out of any options. After about a year, normal wear on your teeth will result in additional stains, so the bleaching will need to be done again.

The next option is a custom mouthpiece, designed by your dentist, that you wear for a few hours a day or overnight for two weeks. When you notice staining again, you just wear the mouthpiece for a couple of nights and the stains will be removed! This option costs around $300.

Other options include special whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes, whitening strips you stick to your teeth, whitening strips that are applied to a toothbrush, and a boil and bite tray, which is similar to the custom mouthpiece your dentist can make for you, though not as accurate. Most of these items are available for under $100.

Before you begin the process of whitening your teeth, make sure you do some research and find out which whitening product and process will be the best for you and your teeth.


Originally published at kamihoss.com on September 21, 2016.

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