Teeth whitening process makes your teeth appear bright and white. The two common ways to whiten your teeth are using bleaching or non-bleaching products. The terms whitening and bleaching are used interchangeably, which is incorrect.

According to the FDA, bleaching is a term that is used when the product includes bleach. The term whitening means the product removes debris and food without food. Bleaching products comprise of peroxide, which removes deep and surface stains from the teeth making them lighter than the natural shade.

What is a bleaching product?

Teeth whitening procedure is consistently done at specific intervals to maintain the bright color and shiny texture. The bleaching products contain hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. The former is the real bleaching agent, while the latter breaks into hydrogen peroxide first. The peroxide percentage differs.

Over the counter whitening kits for home use include 3% to 20% of peroxide. For in-the-dentist office use, the product has 35% to 45% of peroxide. The other ingredients in OTC and in-clinic whiteners include carbopol, sodium hydroxide, glycerin, and flavorings.

Teeth bleaching advantages

  • It is a traditional and safe cosmetic treatment.
  • The procedure is painless without any need for anesthesia.
  • The procedure needs less time.
  • The teeth structure remains the same post-treatment without any signs of damage.
  • Its cost is affordable.

Professional whitening is the best

A supervised tooth whitening treatment plan is a wise option to avoid complications. It takes an hour to get the process done at the dentist’s clinic. What to expect in the procedure?

  • Tooth whitening gel including 35% to 45% hydrogen peroxide is applied on the teeth.
  • A special heating lamp is aimed at your teeth for 20 minutes. It is done three times with a little break in-between for reapplying the gel.
  • Some dentists use a laser to activate or accelerate the whitening process. During the process, your gums, tongue, and lips get covered with a barrier, so it is kept away from the whitening gel.
  • The dentists usually give whitening trays with bleaching solutions for follow-up at home.

OTC teeth whitening products for home use

Whitening strips

Teeth-whitening strips are designed from thin plastic. It is coated with bleaching at low concentration. You have to place these flexible strips on the teeth. After 30 minutes, you can discard the strips. You can use it twice daily for 2 weeks. For some people, strips can cause gum irritation and teeth sensitivity. Another downside is the bleach gets diluted as saliva can slip inside the strip. Strips can even slip out.

Whitening rinses

Besides, reducing gum disease, dental plaque, and freshen breath, whitening rinses include peroxide as a bleaching agent to whiten the teeth. Just like mouthwash, swish it around before brushing. The claim is that you will see results after 12 weeks.

Whitening toothpaste

The toothpaste has mild abrasives like aluminum oxide, silica, baking soda, and calcium carbonate. It helps to eliminate the surface stains. The toothpaste does not have bleach but contains chemical agents that help to remove extra surface stains. However, deep stains cannot be removed.

The safest way for teeth whitening is an in-office whitening treatment. The dentist can customize bleaching agent concentration and manage complexities.