Teeth whitening or bleaching is typically a procedure that people at large undergo to change the color of their teeth, which leads to a improved smile. Teeth tend to darken with age. Also, their appearance can be affected by the accumulation of surface stains acquired from the consumption of certain foods or drinks or the use of tobacco products.

In addition, the perception of color of teeth is affected by individual skin tone and make-up. Irrespective of the real color of their teeth, people with darker skin tone or who use dark makeup will appear to have brighter teeth.

Although teeth are not naturally meant to be completely white, many of us wish to have a brighter/whiter smile. Responding to this desire, a wide range of "whitening" options have become available to the patients.

Most bleaching products are peroxide-based and are actually capable of altering the tooth color. However, not all tooth discolorations respond to bleaching treatment. Individuals contemplating bleaching should consult a dentist to determine the cause of the tooth discoloration and to determine whether the bleaching treatment will have the desired result. This step is especially important for patients with fillings, root canal treatments, crowns and/or with extremely dark stains on the front teeth.

There are two ways teeth bleaching can be done. Office bleach or home bleach. Bleaching done in the dental clinic by a professional is called as office bleach. While home bleaching is done by the patient using customized trays under the professional guidance.

Teeth Whitening Facts and FAQs

Is tooth whitening bad for the enamel?

There is no permanent damage caused to the enamel or any other tooth structure by tooth whitening.

Does tooth whitening cause permanent tooth sensitivity?

Sensitivity from tooth whitening is always transient. That means if there is any sensitivity caused by the whitening, it normally goes away within few days after the treatment, and the patient returns to the state of sensitivity he or she had prior to starting the whitening process.

Can the teeth whitening be done for anyone?

Most people are candidates for teeth whitening, but again, each situation is unique and it is best to consult the dental professional before.

How long does teeth whitening last?

Typically whitening lasts from six months to a year. Results can be long lasting if one avoids stain causing food and certain habits.

Is whitening/ bleaching safe?

Yes, many studies have proven that tooth whitening is safe. You can protect your teeth enamel by using calcium sulfate and fluoride.

Does tooth whitening affect fillings, veneers, or crowns?

Whitening has little or no effect on restorative materials such as porcelain or composite, but it may temporarily reduce the bond strength between enamel and composite restorations. This is why it’s a good idea to check with your dental professional before beginning any course of tooth whitening.

Do toothpaste whiteners work?

Whitening toothpastes typically only clean surface stains and don’t actually change the color of the teeth. There may be some visible results but the teeth aren’t actually being whitened.