Teeth Whitening and Bleaching Preparing Your Teeth

Aside from trying to avoid having bad breath, another common practice or ritual people like to include in the dental care routine is teeth whitening and bleaching. Not only is it important for our teeth to look great it is also important to make sure this is being done in a safely manner as there are serious side effects. Unlike whitening toothpastes, which only remove surface stains to reveal the underlying whiteness of teeth, bleaching agents actually make teeth whiter. The most common teeth bleaching agents are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.

How Can I Get Whiter Teeth?

The effectiveness of teeth bleaching depends on the color of your teeth. Bleaching works best for yellow stains, while gray teeth, which can result from certain antibiotics, are much harder to whiten. People who have stains from smoking, red wine or coffee can get very good results with teeth whitening.

There are two different ways to get whiter teeth:

  • Dental (in-office) whitening.
  • Using a home bleaching kit available through a dentist.

A dentist applies a whitening gel, containing a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide, to your teeth, which is then activated by a special blue high intensity light or laser, causing the gel to release the oxygen molecules. The laser merely activates the bleaching gel, it doesn’t actually penetrate the teeth. The results depend on the shade of your teeth before bleaching.

At Home Teeth Whitening

While in-office teeth bleaching is the safest route to go, home teeth bleaching can be also be safe, and effective, if done properly and under the supervision of a dentist.

At home teeth whitening and bleaching being careful with your gum health

Tray teeth whitening technique involves the use of a plastic tray that is filled with bleaching gel and then fitted over your teeth. By keeping the bleaching gel in contact with your teeth, for the prescribed period of time, your teeth will get whiter. Persons who are using the teeth bleaching products should always ask a dentist for advice.

What are the Major Side Effects of Teeth Bleaching?

Everyone’s experience with teeth whitening and bleaching may look a little different from one another but taking safety precaution and understanding possible side effects is imperative before beginning this process. Some major side effects include:

  • Increased tooth sensitivity, which can happen from already having a weak enamel and using the over-the-counter whitening kits.
  • Gum irritation can happen from not properly isolating the teeth from the gums. Use what is known as dental dam or very carefully apply this at home.
  • Some people even experience extreme pain or ineffective results. Your dentist will advise you on the appropriate steps to take if your teeth become sensitive during the bleaching process.

It is best to always visit a professional when dealing with teeth treatments, doing so on your own may cause permanent damage to your teeth. Seeing a professional is guaranteed to be safer, cleaner and deliver more useful and effective results.


  1. Side Effects of Teeth Whitening Treatments, Smiles Dental.