Teeth Whitening

Last updated date: 13-Apr-2023

Originally Written in English

Teeth Whitening


When our teeth get discolored, especially when they become darker, we put a lot of time and money into enhancing their color.

Many people place a high value on the appearance of their teeth. A third of us believe that our smile is not white enough to be considered appealing. Although some may believe that an appealing smile is unimportant, research have shown that a whiter grin has a significant impact on perceived self-esteem and success.

Teeth whitening is the process of bleaching your teeth to make them whiter. It will not make your teeth whiter, but it will lighten the present color by many shades.

Teeth whitening is a type of dentistry that should only be performed on the prescription of a dentist or another licensed dental expert, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist.

Because teeth whitening by a dentist or other dental expert is considered a cosmetic therapy, it is usually only done privately. The cost of laser whitening varies, however it is more expensive than professional bleaching.

Teeth whitening isn't a long-term solution. It can endure anywhere from a few months to three years, depending on the individual.

If you smoke or consume red wine, tea, or coffee, which may all discolor your teeth, the whitening effect will be short-lived.

Whatever treatment you choose, your gums may become sensitive to the chemicals used in teeth whitening, especially if you already have sensitive teeth. There is also a risk of gum burns, and certain home whitening products might affect tooth enamel.


Why Do Teeth Become Discoloured?

Discoloured Teeth

The dentist must determine the specific reason of the staining or discoloration in order to execute the necessary therapy.

The color of the dentine, enamel, and any stains on the tooth define the color of the tooth. The overall color of the tooth is formed by a mixture of these colors.

  • Food & Drinks:

Dark drinks are most likely the leading source of most tooth discoloration (at least next to tobacco products.) Whatever can stain a white t-shirt may likewise stain your teeth. That includes liquids such as red wine, coffee, tea, diet soda, sports drinks, and so on. And if you're drinking one of those, odds are you're drinking it on a daily basis. The stain from drinking coffee every morning for the rest of your life will undoubtedly alter the overall color of your teeth. Darker foods, such as berries, tomato sauces, and curries, can also be difficult to digest.

  • Genetics:

Some of us have naturally darker teeth than others. The way our teeth form and the thickness of our enamel play a significant role in this. Because the layer of tooth beneath your enamel, known as the dentin, is naturally yellow, it's natural for it to be more visible in those with thinner enamel or teeth with a bigger overall size (such as your canines/eye teeth).

 Remember that the reason adult teeth appear more yellow than baby teeth when they first appear is because baby teeth lack the same strong dentin beneath their outer enamel. Tooth anatomical characteristics are absolutely something you may inherit from your parents, so if they have black teeth, there's a strong possibility you will as well.

  • Aging:

Whether we like it or not, our teeth naturally darken as we get older. All of the meals, drinks, and environmental settings we've subjected them to can begin to take their toll. When combined with tooth wear, the combination of discoloration and enamel erosion might make us appear older than we are. And if you have prior dental work, such as fillings, you'll definitely see more discoloration around their edges as the time comes to replace them.

  • Tobacco Use:

Tobacco products may create some of the deepest and most pronounced dental stains. Cleaning it off might be quite tough for your dental hygienist. Special equipment, like as an air polisher or electric scaler, might still take several minutes to remove the stain from your enamel's topmost layers. 

However, cigarette stains can penetrate your teeth and necessitate the use of whitening treatments to assist remove it. It makes no difference what kind of tobacco product you use; all of them can leave stains. One is not "better" or "worse" than the other.

  • Pregnancy:

During pregnancy, many women have strange appetites and dietary aversions. When your diet is thrown off or you eat differently, you may notice some strange dental stains that you are not used to. Furthermore, you may have a sensitive gag reflex, which stops you from brushing your teeth as thoroughly as you normally do. 

Visible stain and tartar can begin to form after only a few weeks, so you may notice symptoms as early as your first trimester owing to morning sickness or exhaustion.

  • Medication, Vitamins, And Supplements:

Certain prescription medicines, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, and holistic supplements might discolor your teeth. One example is tetracycline, an antibiotic that was formerly often administered but was discontinued once it was revealed to cause permanent tooth discolouration. 

It wasn't that the medicine stained already-erupted teeth; it impacted growing teeth in children, and even newborns when given to a pregnant mother. Even now, some drugs, such as chlorhexidine, which we ironically utilize at the dentist's office, can cause temporary tooth staining. If your dentist or oral surgeon prescribes it, only use it as directed.

  • Fluoride:

There is such a thing as having too much of a good thing. Fluoride is the culprit in this case. Although fluoride, like any other mineral, may be found in food, too much of it can be harmful to our teeth and bones. Especially if you're consuming it. Maybe you drink well water and the fluoride levels in the soil are exceptionally high, or you swallow a bottle of fluoride mouthwash every month. 

It can produce anatomical anomalies in your teeth and bones in either case. Hyperfluorosis occurs when there is an excess of fluoride in the body. It causes your enamel to be pitted, misshapen, or to have brown stains all over it. The disfiguration happens while the teeth are forming and becomes apparent as the adult teeth begin to erupt.

  • Trauma & Nerve Death:

When you are hit in the mouth, you are putting your teeth at danger. Traumatic injuries, such as those sustained during sporting activities, a tumble in the restroom, a car accident, or even a child butting their head into your mouth, may be excruciatingly painful. However, the long-term impacts may not be apparent for years, if not a decade. If your tooth suddenly becomes darker than its neighbors, it's likely that it's suffering from nerve death. The enamel is frequently darker, browner, or bluer than it should be.



Teeth stains

Most individuals can have their teeth white, but not every instance is guaranteed to be effective or sufficient to make that person pleased. Your dentist will advise you on the best type of bleaching for you.

If you have any of the following conditions, tooth whitening may be suitable for you:

  • Teeth stains that are widespread.
  • Teeth deterioration.
  • Tobacco and dietary stains, such as tea and coffee.
  • Fluorosis of the teeth - Fluorosis with several areas on the teeth may benefit from whitening.
  • Tetracycline staining - Not all cases of tetracycline staining will be completely rectified, but many will improve rapidly andThere have been changes inside your tooth, such as nerve death or root canal therapy.



Tooth whitening is not right for you if:

  • You anticipate a miracle;
  • Your dentist informs you that you have tooth decay, gum disease, or infections behind your teeth.
  • You're expecting a child;
  • You have dental sensitivity, fissures, and exposed dentine; once addressed, these teeth may be bleachable.
  • You have existing crowns or big fillings in the smile zone - existing crowns or fillings that need to be replaced after bleaching may indicate that bleaching isn't ideal for you because of the price; and
  • You are in your fifties and have gum shrinkage and noticeable yellow roots.


How Successful is Whitening?

Tooth bleaching

Tooth bleaching has been shown to be effective in studies, and it is also less expensive and time intensive than other techniques for making your teeth seem whiter. It is claimed that 90% of people are successful with their whitening process.

The following factors affect the success of tooth whitening:

  • Age - individuals who are younger see a quick drop in yellowness.
  • The bleaching method used – carbamide peroxide-based goods last far longer than hydrogen peroxide-based solutions;
  • The bleaching agent concentration - the higher the concentration of the agent, the more probable there will be negative effects. However, you will notice the speedier outcomes;
  • The degree of discoloration and the source of the discoloration;
  • How often you decide to whiten your teeth at home; if you just whiten your teeth once or twice a month, you will see little difference.
  • The tray that is custom-made for you; and
  • The number of bleaching treatments performed and the amount of time spent bleaching.


Possible Side Effects of Bleaching

Side Effects of Bleaching

The most typically reported negative effects of bleaching are tooth sensitivity and gum discomfort. The discomfort on the gums is usually caused by improperly fitting bleaching trays, using powerful gels for too long, and not removing extra gel, to mention a few of the primary culprits. Other reported adverse effects include sore throats, jaw soreness from prolonged tray usage, and slight tooth movement.

Tooth sensitivity is by far the most frequent adverse effect reported, and it is estimated that more than half of those who undergo bleaching procedures experience it. The sensitivity is produced mostly by the bleaching chemicals' ability to penetrate through the tooth structure and enter the tooth (the pulp), causing inflammation and discomfort in this location.

Many bleaching treatments can promote tooth dryness, which makes teeth seem whiter. Dehydration can also cause tooth sensitivity. The sensitivity associated with teeth whitening is normally modest, begins early when the bleaching agent is applied to the tooth, and generally reduces as treatment progresses, with sensitivity disappearing when the bleaching agent is removed.

The easiest technique to avoid sensitivity is to use a fluoride gel or sensitive toothpaste before applying the bleaching chemical. Using sensitive toothpaste after the treatment will also help to reduce sensitivity. You should also try using the bleaching tray every two days rather than every day.

To reduce sensitivity, use potassium nitrate with fluoride toothpaste two weeks before and throughout the whitening procedure.

Whitening chemicals have also been reported to have a detrimental influence on the appearance of existing fillings in the mouth. In general, dental fillings do not appear to change color as much as surrounding teeth throughout the whitening process.


How Teeth Whitening Is Done?

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening at Home:

  • Whitening toothpastes:

Because they include moderate abrasives, all toothpastes erase surface stains. Some whitening toothpastes contain mild polishing or chemical ingredients that help remove stains more effectively. You might pay anywhere from $1 to $20, however costs may vary.

Whitening toothpastes just remove surface stains and contain no bleach; over-the-counter and professional whitening products include carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, which lightens the color deep into the tooth. Whitening toothpaste can brighten the color of your teeth by around one shade. In comparison, prescription strength whitening at your dentist's office can lighten your teeth by three to eight shades.

  • Teeth whitening strips and gels:

The plastic whitening strips are shaped to suit the buccal/labial surfaces of teeth and contain a thin layer of peroxide gel. After being developed in the late 1980s, several different types of whitening strips are now available on the market. The instructions for each whitening strip product vary, but the strips are normally used twice daily for 30 minutes for 14 days. Teeth color can brighten by one or two shades over the course of several days. The endpoint of teeth whitening is affected by the frequency of application as well as the product's composition.

With a tiny brush, whitening gels are applied to the tooth surface. The gels contain peroxide and should be administered twice daily for 14 days. The tooth whitening endpoint like that of the whitening strips.

  • Whitening rinses:

Whitening rinses are among the most recent whitening solutions on the market. They, like other mouthwashes, refresh the breath while also reducing tooth plaque and gum disease. However, some of these products contain chemicals that whiten teeth, such as hydrogen peroxide. According to the manufacturers, results may take up to 12 weeks. Swish them about in your mouth for 60 seconds before brushing your teeth twice a day. Some experts, however, believe that rinses are not as successful as other over-the-counter whitening solutions. Because whitening rinses are only in touch with the teeth for a short period of time – about 2 minutes every day vs 30 minutes for many strips – they may have less of an impact.

  • Tray-based tooth whiteners:

Wearing a fitting tray containing carbamide peroxide bleaching gel overnight or for two to four hours each day results in tray-based teeth whitening. If the manufacturer's directions are followed, teeth can be whitened in three days and reduced by one or two shades. This sort of teeth whitening is available both over-the-counter and through an oral health specialist.

  • Teeth whitening baking soda:

Baking soda toothpaste is a safe, low-abrasive, and efficient stain remover and teeth whitening agent. Tooth whitening toothpastes with high abrasiveness are harmful to dental tissue, thus baking soda is a good substitute. To yet, no harmful effects have been observed in clinical research on baking soda. It also includes acid-buffering components, which make baking soda physiologically antibacterial at high concentrations and capable of suppressing Streptococcus mutans development. Baking soda may be beneficial for those who are prone to cavities as well as those who want whiter teeth.

  • Charcoal teeth whitening:

Activated charcoal is a fine-grained black powder derived from natural ingredients such as coconut shells, olive pits, gently burnt wood, and peat.

When the powder is oxidized at high temperatures, it gets activated. Activated charcoal is extremely porous and adsorbent. It has a large surface area as well.

Unlike absorbent substances, the adsorbent property of activated charcoal allows it to bind to poisons and smells rather than soaking (absorbing) them up.

According to the American Dental Association, the abrasive texture of activated charcoal may actually hurt rather than whiten teeth by wearing down tooth enamel.Despite the absence of scientific proof, some people swear by the capacity of activated charcoal to remove tooth stains and whiten teeth.


Teeth Whitening at Dentist:

  • Laser Teeth Whitening:

Laser teeth whitening does not employ lasers in the traditional sense. Lasers need specialized training and are used to treat issues such as drill-free fillings and gum disease. However, "laser whitening" is a light-activated teeth bleaching procedure that combines UV radiation with stain oxidation solutions to speed up stain removal. When the light is turned on, the gel works faster, which is why the treatment only requires one session.

The peroxide in the teeth whitening gel, when paired with proper lighting, effectively breaks up discoloration particles in the pores of your teeth. The gel would function slower without the lights. If you remember the catalyst process from middle school science, the light is acting as a catalyst.


  • Completed in as little as 1-1.5 hours
  • Results up to 7-8+ shades whiter
  • Compliments healthy teeth
  • Can be used as a stand-alone cosmetic treatment
  • Teeth whitening at dentist cost is lower than other aesthetic services
  • Regular touch-ups keep teeth white
  • Priced lower than dental veneers or crowns


  • May cause sensitivity.
  • Often requires a home kit to maintain results.
  • May need to whiten at home to get teeth a little bit brighter.
  • Costs more than a take-home whitening system.
  • Costs 2-3 times more than whitening trays.


How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Teeth whitening services

Teeth whitening services provided by dentists outperform any product available for purchase online or in a shop. Most individuals will notice improvements for at least a year (even a few years.) However, if you consume a lot of coffee or tea, you may only be able to maintain your teeth white for a few months without any help. To continue your treatment and keep your teeth whiter for longer, you'll need to change a few behaviors and keep a touch-up kit at home.

If you have same-day teeth whitening at the dentist, they will usually provide you with an optional take-home package that contains a pair of trays and whitening gel. Touching up with a few applications every 3-6 months (depending on your teeth) resets your degree of whiteness because there isn't any stain there. You should expect to be able to keep your teeth white for years if you maintain using your home kit. Especially if you whiten after every six-month tooth cleaning.



Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the process of bleaching your teeth to make them whiter. It will not make your teeth whiter, but it will lighten the present color by many shades.

Teeth whitening is a type of dentistry that should only be performed on the prescription of a dentist or another licensed dental expert, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist.

Some beauty shops provide teeth whitening, but this is unlawful if a dental practitioner is not present, and it may jeopardize your oral health.

You may also buy DIY home teeth whitening products, but they come with their own set of hazards.

Because teeth whitening by a dentist or other dental expert is considered a cosmetic therapy, it is usually only done privately. The cost of laser whitening varies, however it is more expensive than professional bleaching.