You are Here: HomeArticles
Back to Articles

Teeth Whitening: What Works and What Doesn't

Aug 16, 2012
Email this article
 Printer friendly page
Back to Articles

Last Updated 8/16/2012 - Teeth whitening has become the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world for people who want to look younger, more confident and attractive. However, it's important to understand that this popular practice has its own limitations and drawbacks and, in fact, is not for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing are advised against whitening, as are people who are suffering from gum disease. Whitening is also not recommended for people with cracked teeth or cavities in the areas that they want to be whitened. And, of course, it's also important to remember that most teeth whitening procedures only work with natural teeth; veneers, crowns, bondings and fillings don’t usually respond to whitening agents.

So, if you can whiten your teeth, how white will they be? Results are subject to their existing undertone. Most people have a slight undertone to their smiles ranging from palest yellow, to palest brown to palest gray. According to the American Dental Association, people who have a yellow undertone have higher degrees of whitening success than people with a brownish undertone. For people with gray undertones, however, there's some disappointing news. These teeth are generally the least responsive when it comes to bleaching. (Exceptions occur, however, so speak with
your dentist).

Ideal bleaching candidates are those whose teeth have discolored or stained due to the consumption of tea, coffee, wine or cola. Dentists can also help people with stains or discoloration caused by either genes or antibiotic use, but results may not be as dramatic. Dentists say that they can frequently lighten such stains, but not as much as many patients would like.

So, if you’re a good candidate for tooth whitening - what works and what doesn’t? Here's a rundown featuring do-it-yourself methods and professional procedures.

Do-It-Yourself Whitening Toothpastes

Over-the-counter teeth whitening toothpastes are the most popular whitening products around, but the truth is “you get out of it, what you put into it.” The success of any teeth whitening technology lies primarily in the amount of time the teeth are in contact with a bleaching agent - and the concentration of the bleaching agent being used. Since toothpastes contain a very low concentration of bleach and remain on the teeth for mere minutes - or even seconds - they deliver only a small degree of visible change under ideal circumstances.

What's available in the market?
Today, many oral care brands have their own versions of whitening toothpastes, such as: Crest Extra Whitening toothpaste, Rembrandt Whitening Toothpaste and Colgate Whitening Toothpaste. The companies that manufacture these whitening pastes do not make false claims, and consequently, promise only modest whitening results.

How do whitening toothpastes work?
Almost all the whitening toothpastes work on the same principle. They use hydrogen peroxide or other whitening agents in very small quantities to gently remove surface stains caused by tea, coffee, wine, etc.

Some dentists believe that teeth whitening toothpastes are a complete waste of time and money and aren’t any better at whitening teeth than ordinary toothpastes. Other dentists believe that whitening toothpastes can help improve the color of teeth, albeit to a very small degree. However, in some cases, people do experience considerable improvement in their tooth color, largely due to individual dental characteristics. Overall, however, the whitening results obtained from teeth whitening toothpastes are almost negligible.

Do-It-Yourself Over the Counter Whitening

If you’re looking for more dramatic results than those delivered by teeth whitening toothpastes, then you’re apt to consider Over-The-Counter Whitening, such as Crest 3D Whitestrips Intensive Professional Effects. These products feature mouth trays, whitening strips or paint-on applications - and are widely available at grocery, drug and discount stores nationwide.

How do they work?
While more expensive than teeth whitening toothpastes, these inexpensive whitening options (compared to dentist-prescribed whitening solutions) typically involve the use of a low-concentration bleaching gel with detailed, daily use instructions that you follow at home. You'll wear the trays, strips or painted-on bleach for up to 60 minutes a day (in two or more individual applications) and for the suggested period of time - 1-2 weeks depending on the product.

Most people with simple surface stains will experience a multi-shade change, primarily on their front teeth. While the technology of at-home over-the-counter whitening is designed for ease-of-use; most people will find it very difficult to follow the directions exactly, particularly with regard to reaching and whitening the back teeth.

Kiosk Whitening

Kiosk whitening is a blend of do-it-yourself and "professional" whitening techniques that's currently under intense criticism from both many state dental boards and the American Dental Association. You'll find whitening kiosks in malls all over the country and they claim to offer "professional results" at a fraction of the cost of in-office bleaching techniques.

How do they work?
Kiosk whitening is "legal" because you do most of the work yourself. You’ll first be given the materials to make an impression of your own teeth. When the trays are ready, you’ll then fill them with a peroxide bleaching gel (less concentrated than the strengths prescribed by dentists). You’ll then insert the trays into your mouth, followed by application of the accelerator lights by the whitening assistant.

Most kiosk whitening franchises will not make a claim about how much whiter their procedure will make your teeth. Some, however, say that their procedure will work on up to 93% of people. Again, the procedure works best on the best whitening candidates.

Because whitening kiosks aren't staffed by people who've undergone any accredited dental training, there is no real screening involved to eliminate unlikely whitening candidates. So while someone with severe stains may not experience any whitening - someone with cavities, cracked teeth or serious dental disease may actually experience pain, or worse. Read more about kiosk whitening in this article:Teeth Whitening at the Mall. Unsafe, but is it Illegal?

Professional Take Home Trays

Take-Home Tray Whitening is tooth whitening in a kit that can be used at home, usually under the supervision of a dentist. Dental-supervised tray whitening is very effective and is considered the "gold standard" in its class.

How do these kits work?
Dentists make a mold of your teeth in the office and then have custom-fitted trays created to fit each arch of your mouth. When you’re home, you fill the trays with a peroxide bleaching gel and place them over your teeth. The concentration of peroxide will determine how long you wear the trays and how quickly you achieve results. Some people use the trays for 30 to 90 minutes a day over a two-week period, while others wear the trays overnight for 1 to 2 weeks. During this period, dentists check for any sensitivity to the gel.

The results obtained from such kits usually last for years. If the teeth start staining again, re-touch bleach will help restore teeth to a whiter shade.

Bottom Line: Although professional take-home tray whitening are very time-consuming, they offer good, long-term results. In general, Take Home Tray Kits are more effective than any other home whitening treatment, and are less expensive than in-office whitening treatments. Read more about whitening trays here.

Professional In-Office Whitening

Dentist-administered in-office bleaching is the quickest, easiest and least painful method of teeth whitening. But it is also the most costly way of dramatically improving your smile.

What is In-Office Bleaching all about?
Today, there are two primary types of in-office bleaching - light-activated bleaching and non-light activated. Light-activated procedures (Zoom, Sapphire etc.) claim to produce a 9-shade improvement in 60 minutes with the use of a laser or LED-powered light.

Non-Light Activated bleaching systems (e.g. Pola Office+, Opalescence Xtra Boost) eliminate the light and use advanced bleaching gels with a variety of procedures. Non-light activating whitening can occur in a single office visit.

Generally speaking though, dentists appear to be moving away from light-activated whitening - due to a number of reasons: lack of supporting clinical data, the expense of lights and concerns for patient safety.

Advantages: There are various advantages to in-office treatment as opposed to other forms of teeth whitening. Dentist-administered whitening procedures permit higher concentrations of bleach and can assure proper bleach contact with teeth - improving the chances of maximum whitening.

Results: The results of in-office whitening can last up to several years. Usually it lasts for about 3-4 years, although Deep Bleaching has been known to last 5+ years. Some people have reported the loss of one shade in about 6 months. However, maintaining the color is easy by using recommended toothpastes and mouthwashes.

In-Office treatments are painless for most, but can cause some increased sensitivity to the gum line for some. (Dentists recommend treating sensitivity with Tylenol). The average cost of an in-office teeth whitening treatment depends on your area, dentist and choice of method (anywhere from $500 to $1500+) and usually include the price of aftercare products like toothpaste and mouthwash.

Bottom Line: If you want good results in a very short time and are willing to pay for it, then in-office whitening treatments are for you. All you have to do is select the right dentist and method for your needs.

Reviewed by Dr. Alan Zweig
Dr. Alan Zweig runs a private dental practice in Beverly Hills, CA. With over 30 years of experience in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Alan Zweig is a teeth whitening veteran. He’s been trusted by major celebrities, business leaders, and patients from over six different continents.

 Back to Articles     Top of Page

share this or bookmark


2. - doughty2010 - 01/08/2009
^in response, you're probably looking for Celebrity Sexy Smile. That product maintains several unbelievably biased web domains that appear to be genuine review sites. They're not. Celebrity Sexy Smile is, as reviewed here, a scam.
3. - Paulina - 06/03/2009
I think that the best bleaching system that doesn't hurt and bleaches even tetracycline stained teeth, and lasts forever is the Deep Bleaching, kor whitening system. Go to: and you'll learn.
4. - imran - 07/18/2009
Regarding the toothpastes, i want to add some notes. I think that everyone should use the toothpaste after getting his/her teeth examined by the dentist. The dentist will be giving you a list of toothpastes that are avaialable in your local market depending upon your teeth condition. And dont stick on the single toothpaste. Keep on changing the paste one after the other from the recommended list. This will decrease the resistance of the mouth bacteria and you will get better results.

best teeth whitening
5. - A. Bird - 09/13/2009
How much does the KoR Deep Whitening System cost?
6. - Whiter Teeth - 10/26/2009
I recently say down for a teeth whitening session at my local mall. It was $90 for 2, 15 minute sessions using a gel and laser treatment. In the end, my bottom teeth were 5 shades whiter, while my top teeth were 4 shades whiter.
7. - Gus - 11/15/2009
So called 'shades' are hardly a subjective measure of whitening success. If you believe in this type of terminology simply take a one hundred dollar bill and burn it, it will speed up your results!
8. - kartik - 02/01/2010
i have a query i have got a hair line crack on my incisor and is stained also should i go for bleaching
10. - Deb - 05/25/2010
I had severe Tetracycline staining to the point that I hated my teeth so much, I went to the dentist with the intention of pulling them all out and getting dentures or implants. My dentist had found out about Kor Whitening and he thought it would help me. He charged me $900 for the entire treatment. My teeth were so bad, I used the trays for 6 straight weeks, but I have to say it was worth every penny I spent.

Are my teeth perfectly white? No, but compared to what they were before the treatment, the difference is nothing short of amazing! I went from NEVER showing my teeth when I smiled to always smiling. My self confidence increased a thousand fold.
I personally recommend Kor Whitening for anyone who has Tetracyline stained teeth. If you'd like to see some before and after photos, email me and I'll be happy to send them to you.
11. - bo toe - 12/06/2010
davinci teeth whitening systems in colorado has the best gel. it will not cause sensitivity, but will whiten your teeth. I found that many dentists use this product, and they have been very friendly and helpful overall.
12. - pauline - 01/16/2011
i went too one of these shops that claim too whiten teeth i honestly cant remember the name of it,they use gel mouthtray and put a blue light over the mouthtray,they claim you are getting a special offer of teethwhitening for £99.00,normal price meant too be £295.00,it never made 1 bit of diffrence too colour of my teeth left me with extreme sensitivity as all they really do is dehydrate your teeth,i am just putting this on here too save any1 else wasting money on something that does not work,well it never for me,
13. - Happy Smile - 03/28/2011
I had the Davinci three session treatment done in Portland and the results were amazing! I went from a shade 23 to an 8 in one hour. There was no pain during or after the treatment because their whitening gel is 100% natural. No chemicals. This treatment does use the blue LED lights. My mouth did get tired of being held open the last 10 minutes but that was all. I paid $149. and it was worth it.
14. - lavender - 07/30/2011
I actually had my opalescence in office whitening today, and I gotta say, it really is worth every penny! Even though I did feel tooth sensitivity for about 3 hours, (especially when a cold wind blew right into my face), it was actually tolerable, and it just appears in bursts of a few seconds, then its gone.
15. - tanden bleken - 08/07/2011
i first had whiten my teeth with an over the counter product but i didn't give me the result where is was after (i'm a smoker and coffee drinker). now i had a professional treatment with the blue led lights and the results are just amazing! i'm very happy with the result
16. - Lis - 08/20/2011
I went to my dentist about two months ago and asked about a white discoloration on my canine. They suggested either sawing off the discolored piece (literal words) and put a filling instead... or bleach. I have paid 350 dollars to have those trays made, first tried 4 days with Contrast PM 15% - saw no change at all. I wore it 3 hours every day, though and followed everything the dentist told me to do. I went o exchange for 20% and used that for another 4 days. There is no difference at all in my teeth. The discoloration has become even worse if possible. 350 dollars wasted for nothing. I'm now trying again with Opalescence 20% and we'll see if it makes a difference now, but I fear that the in-office treatments are the only things really working.
17. - amber - 09/27/2011
I have used teeth bleeching gel for many years and with great results. I had a custom tray made and used 22% bleech. I leave the tray in for 30 - 45 minutes every 4 months and my teeth are super white. I highly suggest getting a custom made tray so every tooth will be equally white. The store bought ones will not give even coverage, so some teeth will be white and some will not. I also, suggest getting a mirror with a 15 magnifier so when you place the tray with bleech in your mouth you can see that the get spread evenly.
18. - Brianna - 03/29/2012
The teeth whitening tricks, that work!!
19. - Nancy Mitchell - 07/30/2012
All of the teeth whiteners (including a fitted tray and whitener provided by my dentist) I have tried exclusively whiten only the bottom half of my teeth, leaving the upper half (near the gum line) either the same shade or, in my great horror, discovered the upper half even darker than before. Why is this caused and what can be done to whiten the whole tooth?
20. - Christina - 01/29/2013
I have had quite naturally white teeth all of my life. When my crowns were being made for my dental implants, over 10 years ago, they had to be sent back a couple times for being too dark ot dull. The crowns are between my canines and front teeth, which makes a shade difference very noticeable. The surrounding teeth are only, as far as I can tell more so the canines, are ever so slightly more yellow. I want them to match as well as when they were put in but toothpaste isn't doing the trick. I don't put much stock in the strips either. Would professional trays or a session even be worth a couple shades? Any suggestions are much appreciated!
21. - James - 02/01/2013
Hi Christina,

It sounds like the crowns are your lateral incisors? For crowns, bleaching gels will not get it any whiter - However, it might have extrinsic stains, so a proper polishing with the right pastes for porcelain might do the trick. Please visit your nearest cosmetic dentist to have a look and polish them if need be. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
23. - titin - 07/23/2014
Saat ini hari raya idul fitri semakin dekat dan pesta pun akan terjadi di pelosok negeri merayakan hari kemenangan umat Islam sedunia. Jadi apakah anda sudah mempunyai baju pesta muslimat untuk menyambut hari spesial ini? Jika belum silahkan hubungi kami mempunyai banyak pilihan model baju dress muslimah . Sabun Amoorea ini sudah sangat terkenal jual hijab cantik .
Anda saat ini sedang bersipa merayakan idul fitri? Bagaimana jika anda menghidangkan takoyaki di hari spesial ini? Dengan racikan resep yang tentunya halal anda bisa menyenangkan anak-anak anda. Coba baca cara membuat takoyaki di sini. Jika ada bahan yang anda butuhkan yang sulit ditemui dipasaran silahkan hubungi kami. . jaket korea ini ditawarkan dalam berbagai model resep tempe mendoan .
Untuk melindungi laptop anda dan memudahkan anda bepergian ke mana-mana, maka disediakan banyak pilihan opsi yang bisa membantu anda membawa laptop anda sepanjang hari. Ada banyak pilihan model dan kualitas yang kami tawarkan. . Lihat koleksi jaket couple dari distro bandung perawatan kulit .
Apakah anda membutuhkan koleksi lagu yang lengkap untuk membantu anda menikmati hari raya? Kami mempunyai banyak koleksi lirik lagu yang bisa anda nyayikan bersama-sama keluarga di momen spesial. Bisa juga untuk eksis sendiri sambil memutar winamp anda. . Dapatkan sarung, baju batik, dan jilbab murah aneka model di sini lagu dangdut lengkap .
I have written a post about cancer and all about its treatment and theraphy. If you have any problem or any disease please visit our webpage. . Dapatkan tips terbaik tentang cara membuat blog dan SEO di sini, weight loss program .
Apakah anda suka mendownload lagu dari sebuah situs atau blog? Jika ya maka anda perlu mencoba situs kami di mana ada banyak sekali stok lagu dengan kualitas mp3 terbaik yang akan memanjakan telinga anda. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini download lagu mp3 terlengkap .
Perpustakaan adalah tempat di mana anda bisa mendapatkan banyak referensi tentang suatu masalah. Saat ini sesuai dengan perkembangan zaman, maka perpustakaan digital dan online pun semakin banyak bermunculan di dunia maya. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini kanker dan gejalanya .
Jika anda mencari tempat wisata yang menjanjikan keindahan alam dan kenikmatan kuliner maka padang sumatera barat sangat menjanjikan untuk hal itu. Anda bisa mengikuti wisata di kota padang dengan menyewa jasa bito perjalanan atau travel yang berkualitas. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini sewa kijang di padang .
Saat ini anda sangat perlu memperhatikan kulitas dari aki anda sebelum melakukan perjalanan jauh karena aki yang bermasalah akan membahayakan perjalanan anda. Jadi ada baiknya anda mengecek sebelumnya apa aki anda belum soak, jika sudah tidak baik kami menyediakan aki berkualitas. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini aki mobil bekas .
untuk melakukan pesta atau acara lainnya di luar ruangan maka anda memerlukan tenda sebagai perlengkapan acara yang akan anda lakukan. Anda bisa mendapatkan layanan jasa penyewaan tenda yang berkualitas dari raihan tenda, karena layanan ini memberikan jaminan kualitas. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini menyediakan perlengkapan acara pernikahan .
Jika anda ingin menjadi leader di dalam sebuah bisnis seperti mmm maka tentunya anda perlu mengetahui apa saja yang perlu anda lakukan di dalam bisnis tersebut. Jadi anda bisa membaca panduan cara bisnis mmm dari blog indonesia berikut ini. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini mendapatkan bantuan dari sistem mmm .
Yang namanya penstabil tegangan atau voltage stabilizer adalah sesuatu yang perlu anda persiapkan jika kualitas listrik di tempat anda tidak baik. Kenapa ini sangat perlu? Karena kualitas listrik yang tidak baik akan bisa merusak peralatan listrik anda yang mahal. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini stabilizer matsunaga .
Jika anda mencari jam tangan yang berkualitas baik itu replika atau original, maka anda bisa mencarinya secara online. Hanya saja saat ini banyak sekali toko online yang tidak lain adalah penipuan. Jadi anda harus membeli jam tangan anda dari toko jam tangan online yang terpercaya. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini jam tangan replika harga murah .
Jika anda membutuhkan panduan akan bagaimana cara lulus unian atau tes yang penting bagi masa depan anda, maka di sini kami menyediakan banyak tips dan panduan yang disusun berdasarkan pengalaman selama bertahun-tahun. Silahkan kunjungi blog kami dan dapatkan panduannya. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini contoh cv yang baik .
Kami menyediakan jasa konveksi yang berkualitas dengan jahitan yang rapi dan harga yang sangat bersaing. Jika anda membutuhkan layanan konveksi silahkan hubungi kami dan lihat penawaran dari kami. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini konveksi kaos polos harga murah .
Saat ini ada banyak sekali penyakit kronis dan akut di luar sana. Namun seringkali pengobatan dengan obat kimia menjadi buah simalakama karena mendatangkan bahaya kontra indikasi yang lain. Bagi anda yang mencari produk herbal dan aman, maka Tiens menyediakan beberapa paket produk untuk berbagai penyakit. . Lihat koleksi sepatu wanita yang dijual online berikut ini penambah tinggi badan .
Jika anda adalah wanita yang menggemari belanja online untuk kebutuhan fashion, maka anda bisa melakukannya dengan melakukan belanja online dan ini yang perlu anda lakukan saat ingin berbelanja. blog evafashionstore . Ini dia yang anda butuhkan untuk menambah tinggi badan anak anda jual sepatu online untuk wanita dengan beragam model .
24. - korsu001 - 08/25/2014 oakley sunglasses oakley sunglasses oakley sunglasses ray ban sunglasses ray ban sunglasses ray ban polo ralph lauren outlet polo ralph lauren outlet burberry outlet online toms shoes michael kors outlet online michael kors outlet online michael kors outlet cheap michael kors michael kors handbags clearance michael kors michael kors louboutin louboutin tory burch outlet gucci outlet prada handbags prada outlet longchamp outlet jordan shoes nike shoes tiffany and co nike air max air max nike free chanel handbags kate spade outlet louis vuitton outlet online louis vuitton handbags coach outlet coach factory coach outlet store coach purses true religion jeans true religion true religion outlet nike air max air max air jordan nike free nike roshe run longchamp ralph lauren louis vuitton louboutin michael kors burberry oakley pas cher ray ban pas cher hollister hermes montre pas cher vans timberland lancel louis vuitton hogan louis vuitton hollister karen millen mulberry ralph lauren nike air max air max nike free abercrombie and fitch birkin bag supra shoes north face outlet north face jackets new balance shoes converse shoes reebok outlet yoga pants lululemon nfl jerseys rolex watches wedding dresses beats by dre mont blanc juicy couture outlet ferragamo shoes marc jacobs mcm handbags chi flat iron insanity ghd bottega veneta valentino shoes herve leger asics soccer shoes soccer jerseys celine handbags p90x jimmy choo ugg boots ugg boots ugg ugg boots canada goose canada goose outlet canada goose outlet canada goose canada goose canada goose moncler outlet moncler moncler moncler tn pas cher gucci oakley ray ban louboutin ralph lauren
25. - xiaozhengmmm - 09/11/2014
27. - joko - 10/10/2014
Even if you are free to write anything you wan to say to the world, still, it would be better to create some write-ups that would be beneficial to your readers.
Konveksi Baju Sekolah
Konveksi Baju Seragam Sekolah
Bikin Baju Sekolah
Konveksi Baju Seragam Sekolah
Bikin Baju Seragam Sekolah
Pesan Baju Seragam Sekolah
Konveksi Seragam Sekolah

28. - diana - 10/16/2014
Seorang yang sering mempraktekan Cara Cantik Alami didalam kehidupan sehari-harinya, dan selalu Download Aplikasi iPhone Terbaik secara gratis Dan Gemar menggunakan Baju Bola Original
31. - ipo - 10/26/2014
Bisnis online shop untuk sekarang ini sangat berkembang mulai dari bisnis kaos bola maupun bisnis lainnya, yang paling unik untuk sekarang ini adalah bisnis . social media yang sedang booming saat ini adalah twitter, baru juga tergolong mudah dan bisa hanya dalam waktu 5 menit saja.
32. - polo outlet - 10/27/2014
33. - watch series - 11/06/2014
Judging vivacious films is significantly more uphill for me than other films
34. - Goren - 11/15/2014
Experience, knowledge, and skill don’t always go hand in hand with success. Sometimes your lack of experience is your best asset. | | | | |
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic. - Anonymous
35. - Jersey Bola - 11/19/2014
Dikota Medan sendiri gerai "" terdapat di Jl. Perjuangan No. 130A, Medan Perjuangan Medan Sumatera Utara Indonesia. siap kirim ke seluruh Kota-Kota besar di Indonesia dan pesanan diantar langsung ke alamat Anda, oleh karenanya tersebut Distributor Resmi Pancake Durian, Oleh Oleh Khas Medan tidak pernah sepi dari pengemar buah durian. || || || || || ||
36. - youjizz - 11/20/2014
Everything from youjizz the meretricious native (i habit annotate on the rights and wrongs use of the N expression term), to the style of dress scheme right through to the performances are truly aloft.
E-mail (Will not appear online)
To prevent automated Bots form spamming, please enter the text you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

Powered by Comment Script


Home    Reviews/Ratings    Simulator    Articles    FAQ    Message Board    Advisory Board    About/Contact
© 2013 Teeth Whitening Reviews. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer.