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The Basics of Teeth Whitening: Types, Benefits, and Risks

Apr 5, 2023

Teeth whitening is lightening the teeth by removing stains and other discolouration. There’s something about a white, radiant smile that can do wonders for your self-confidence, which is why teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures. There are many options for teeth whitening, including at-home kits you can buy at the store or professional procedures you can get from your dentist. In this post, we will look at a few of your options and the risks and benefits of each type.


Different Types of Teeth Whitening

Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwashes

There are a lot of types of toothpaste on the market that boast special “whitening” formulas. Most whitening toothpaste will contain hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient. Depending on the severity of the surface stains on your teeth, you may or may not have success with toothpaste alone. This is a good place to start, as it is the most cost-effective and minimally invasive way to whiten teeth. Since you should be brushing your teeth twice daily anyway, why not switch out your regular toothpaste for a specific whitening brand? You may find special whitening mouthwashes on the shelves at your local store. If you do not see dramatic results with this method, it is time to look for something stronger.

Teeth Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are a popular at-home method of whitening your teeth. Most boxes can be bought over-the-counter at a grocery store or pharmacy for about $30, making them a reasonably inexpensive way of whitening teeth that will likely be more effective than toothpaste alone. Whitening strips are thin plastic covered in a peroxide-based formula that you’ll place over your teeth for about 30 minutes daily. It will take one to two weeks to start seeing results. After using whitening strips, you may experience some sensitivity in the teeth and gums. One of the downsides to whitening strips is that the results might be short-lived. You may have to repeat the process every few months.

Professional Whitening at Home

If you want the best results from teeth whitening treatments, your best bet is to have your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist, especially when dealing with severe stains. Another benefit to professional whitening is that it will be custom-designed to suit your teeth. At Renew Dental, a digital scan of your teeth will be taken, and you’ll leave the office with custom whitening trays to use at home. The trays are filled with a special whitening gel and will fit securely to your teeth. The whitening tray will be left in place for about two to three hours before removing. You may experience some sensitivity for a few days after the application. Professional teeth whitening can last up to 12 months.


Whichever method you choose to whiten your teeth, your daily habits can affect the outcome. Drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine can cause stains, and smoking is one of the worst culprits for your teeth. Even aging can make teeth darker over time. Whether you choose an at-home method or have your teeth whitened professionally by your dentist, brighter, whiter teeth can change the look of your overall appearance, giving you something to smile about!

Let Your Best Smile Shine at Renew Dental in Bridgwater

When you visit Renew Dental in Bridgwater you’ll be greeted by a team of professionals who truly care about you and your oral health. Let us help you renew your smile with preventative dental care and personalized solutions.