5 Types of Teeth Whitening Procedures You Need to Know About


Tooth whitening is one of the most popular dental procedures performed. Each year Americans pay about $2 billion to keep their teeth white and sparkling. However, drinking coffee, red wine, smoking cigarettes, and just aging may cause teeth discoloration over time. 

Learn more about the ways to whiten your teeth and improve your smile. 

1. OTC whitening strips and gels

Whitening gels are transparent, peroxide-based gels that are applied to the surface of your teeth using a tiny brush. Depending on the intensity of the peroxide, the instructions will differ. Carefully follow the product's instructions to avoid teeth damage. The first results are seen within a few days, and the ultimate results will be visible in about four months. To achieve the desired result, you may need to apply the gel or strips twice a day. 

Whitening strips are very thin, nearly undetectable strips covered with a peroxide-based whitening gel. The strips should be applied in accordance with the instructions. The first results are seen within a few days. Whitening strips and gels range in price from $10 to $55 and may be purchased at your local drugstore, dentist, or online.

2. Whitening toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste includes moderate abrasives. They can help erase surface stains and slightly whiten the surface of your teeth. Some whitening toothpaste includes mild polishing or chemical ingredients that help remove stains more effectively. You should expect to pay anywhere from $1 to $20, but the prices may fluctuate. You need to understand that whitening toothpaste just removes surface stains and doesn’t contain bleaching agents. 

Professional whitening treatments include carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, which actually lightens the color of the tooth. Whitening toothpaste can brighten the color of your teeth by around one shade. In comparison, prescription whitening at your dentist's office may lighten your teeth by three to eight shades.

3. Whitening rinses

Whitening mouth rinses are among the most innovative whitening solutions on the market. They refresh your breath while also reducing tooth plaque and fighting gum disease. However, some of these products contain chemicals that whiten teeth, such as hydrogen peroxide. You need to swish whitening mouthwash around your mouth for 60 seconds before brushing twice a day. It can take about 12 weeks until your teeth become whiter. Using a whitening mouthwash with whitening toothpaste may boost their whitening effect. 

4. Whitening trays

One option for whitening your teeth at home is tooth whitening trays. Compared to OTC teeth whitening remedies, whitening trays include a greater amount of bleaching agents for better results. The dentist will create fitted application trays made of flexible plastic using custom molds of your teeth. Fitted trays keep the bleach in close contact with the teeth for the greatest results, prevent saliva from diluting the bleach, and limit the quantity of bleach that can seep out and potentially irritate the gums. 

Over-the-counter trays do not perfectly fit the teeth, resulting in bleach leaks and irritated gums. If you want a better and safer effect, it is recommended to get whitening trays in your dentist’s office. 

5. Professional teeth whitening

Professional teeth whitening may be completed in an hour at a dentist's office. The procedure begins with the application of a tooth whitening gel containing between 25% and 40% hydrogen peroxide, followed by the use of a specific heating lamp. The doctor exposes your teeth to the light for three 20-minute intervals, with reapplication of the gel in between intervals. 

Some dentists also offer laser teeth whitening. The laser stimulates the whitening process and ensures a better result. During the whitening treatment, the doctor uses a protective barrier to keep your lips, gums, and tongue safe.