How does teeth whitening work?

Teeth whitening can help a person achieve the smile of their dreams. Many methods are available, including in-chair treatments and take-home kits that will have your teeth whiter than ever! In addition to these popular choices, there’s sanding down stains or bleaching with UV lights for those who want an even brighter look. 

The guide will help you understand what teeth whitening is, how it works, and what are its possible side effects. 

Types of teeth stains

Choosing the proper treatment for your teeth is essential if you want them whiter. There are two types of stains, intrinsic and extrinsic, which require different whitening methods due to their specific nature. 

What are intrinsic stains?

Intrinsic staining can be present from birth, and it happens because of the use or exposure to certain medications, high levels of fluoride in your community water supply (CFWS), and thinner enamel as you grow older. Some genetic mutations may also cause the issue with stain development within your teeth. 

What are extrinsic stains?

Extrinsic stains can be caused by environmental exposure, leading to tooth discolouration. Some common causes of extrinsic staining are excessive coffee drinking and consuming artificial food colouring that has been added during processing or cooking; tobacco products may also leave behind an unwanted stain on your teeth if you use them regularly enough! 

If you have any questions about the type of staining or how it affects your teeth, speak with a dentist. They can examine which whitening method is best for removing stains from your teeth enamel, so they don’t return soon! 

How do teeth whitening options work?

Some common teeth whitening options include using essential toothpaste with natural ingredients or attending a professional session. 

There is a wide variety of whitening products on the market, but not all work for removing extrinsic stains. Some will only lighten your teeth and make them appear lighter in colour, while others bleach any existing markings to achieve this same effect. 

The at-home kits and office options include hydrogen peroxide, which can break down stains on teeth to make them white. Another common ingredient found in many whitening products is carbamide peroxide – an oxidising agent that leaves your smile bright! 

It should be noted that these chemicals in higher doses may irritate your gums. So, it is essential to use any teeth whitening product as directed to achieve the desired results. 

You may experience sensitivity while undergoing at-home or in-chair whitening treatments. If this happens, speak to the specialist so they can make any alterations needed for you and avoid further discomfort! 

Teeth whitening products may lead to tooth pain and redness/bleeding of the gums. In such cases, you must stop using them immediately to avoid the risk of infection.  

Whitening products

Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash are common products that can be found at your local drugstore. Some contain baking soda as an ingredient, which scabs away stains by abrasive properties of this mild powdery substance and other ingredients like charcoal for even more cleaning power! Be aware, though; if you use these constantly, they may chip or damage enamel, so watch how much time is spent using them to avoid extensive damage to your teeth. 

Your enamel is the hardest layer of teeth and is not made out of living cells that can repair themselves after being worn down by everyday use. If you plan on using abrasive whitening products, please consult a dentist about how they should be used safely so that there will not be any damage or injury.  

Home whitening kits

The home whitening kit is to be used by yourself at home. It comes in gel or paste form and must be applied with a brush, but some also include sticky strips for easy application on the go! 

Home whitening kits come with everything you need to get your teeth whiter. Some of these items include a pre-made mouth guard containing either an acid or solvent-based compound that has to be applied directly onto your tooth enamel following specific instructions. Some kits also include products like heat lamps and blue lights that help in enhancing the results. 

At-home whitening kits are less effective than the products that professionals use. You will have to apply them daily for several weeks or more, and your teeth will begin to improve only after 2 to 4 weeks of usage. 

Whitening at dentist’s office

Whitening teeth at a dental clinic involves using products with higher concentrations of active ingredients. This is one reason such treatment gets you faster and more noticeable results: you can have a bright smile that everyone will notice! 

Many people opt for in-office teeth whitening to get their teeth as white and straight-looking as possible. However, this treatment can be expensive without coverage from your insurance company because it isn’t considered part of your routine dental cleaning.  

Teeth whitening side effects

The most common side effect of teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity. This occurs because the bleaching agents used to whiten teeth can penetrate the dentin or inner layer of the tooth. This can cause the nerve endings in the teeth to become irritated, resulting in increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. 

Other potential side effects of teeth whitening include gum irritation and uneven bleaching. These side effects are usually temporary and will resolve independently within a few days to weeks. However, side effects like allergic reactions or chemical burns may occur in rare cases. If you experience severe side effects after teeth whitening, be sure to see your dentist immediately. 

Teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your smile. However, following the instructions provided by your dentist or at-home teeth whitening kit company is essential to avoid any potential side effects. If you have any concerns about teeth whitening, be sure to talk to us. Call us on (03) 4050 9030 or email us at 


What’s involved in teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a process of removal of stains and discolouration from teeth. Various techniques and methods are used to achieve this, including bleaching agents. The overall goal is to restore the natural brightness and colour of teeth. 

The most common teeth whitening method is bleaching, which uses a peroxide-based bleaching agent to remove stains and discolouration from teeth. This can be done at home with over-the-counter products or in a dental office by a dentist or other trained professional. Bleaching is generally considered safe for both people and their teeth; however, it is essential to follow directions closely and avoid repeated or prolonged exposure to the bleach, as this can weaken your teeth’ enamel.  

What leads to discolouration of teeth?

  • Drinking coffee, tea or red wine. These beverages contain pigments that can stick to teeth and cause staining.
  • Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products. Tobacco use is a significant cause of tooth staining and discolouration.
  • Eating certain foods and drinks. Foods like berries and soy sauce can cause teeth to become discoloured over time.
  • Certain medications, such as tetracycline antibiotics, can also lead to teeth discolouration
  • Ageing. As we age, our tooth enamel becomes thinner and more translucent, thus more prone to stains. 

Is it possible to remove stains on teeth without teeth whitening?

There are a few ways that you can use to remove stains on teeth without teeth whitening. However, they may not be as effective as whitening treatments. One way is to use baking soda. Baking soda is a natural abrasive that can help to remove surface stains from your teeth. You can either brush your teeth with baking soda, or you can make a paste out of the water and baking soda and apply it to your teeth. Another way to remove stains on teeth without teeth whitening is to use apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a natural acidic that can help to break down the staining agents on your teeth. You may dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it to your teeth. However, if the staining is too deep or old, you will not be able to remove it with simple home remedies and need professional whitening treatments.  

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