The Different Types of Teeth Whitening: Which One is Right for You?

Dr. Ash Sagar
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Do you want to have a radiant and confident smile? A bright smile is not only attractive but also indicates that you take care of your oral health.

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment because it can dramatically improve the appearance of your teeth.

There are a few different types of teeth whitening treatments available, but not all are created equal. Some are better than others at removing stains and making your smile bright.

If you’re considering teeth whitening, but you’re not sure which option is best for you, keep reading. This post will break down the different forms of teeth whitening so you can choose the one that’s right for you.

What Is Teeth Whitening?


Teeth whitening is the process of lightening the teeth by removing stains and other discolouration.

The most common teeth whitening method is bleaching, which uses either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to break down the molecules that cause staining.

Other methods of teeth whitening include:

  • Physical abrasion: This involves scrubbing the teeth with a gritty material
  • Chemical abrasion: This method uses acids to remove stains
  • Laser whitening: An intense pulsed light is used to break down stains

Teeth whitening is generally considered safe, but it’s important to consult with a dentist before undergoing teeth whitening. This is because some methods may not be suitable for all patients.

Different Types of Teeth Whitening

There are a variety of teeth whitening treatment options available, and the best one for you will depend on your budget, time constraints, and desired results.

The different types of teeth whitening treatments are:

  • In-Office Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments
  • Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products
  • Do-It-Yourself At-Home Kits

In-Office Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments

Professional teeth whitening is done by a dentist or other qualified dental professional inside a dental clinic.

Special equipment and techniques are utilized to remove deep stains and discolouration. A bleach solution is applied to the teeth, and then a light is used to accelerate the teeth whitening process.

This is considered the most effective and the fastest way to get your teeth brighter and whiter. In-office whitening treatments are usually more expensive than other methods, but it is worth it if you want long-lasting results.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products

Over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products can be bought without a prescription from your dentist. These products include whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, and gels. You can also find OTC teeth whitening strips and kits in many drugstores and online.

Some OTC teeth whitening products use peroxides, such as hydrogen peroxide to remove stains and brighten teeth. Others rely on abrasives, enzymes, or detergents to remove stained material from the surface of your teeth.

While some of these over-the-counter teeth whitening products do whiten teeth, they generally take longer to work than other types of whitening treatments.

Do-It-Yourself At-Home Whitening Kits

DIY at-home whitening kits are available from a dentist or many different stores and brands. These kits typically include a mouthguard and whitening gel or strips that you apply to your teeth.

The active ingredient in the gel or strips bleaches your teeth, making them appear brighter and whiter. An at-home treatment option is generally less expensive than professional treatments, but they may not be as effective.

Reasons You May Consider Teeth Whitening Treatments

Teeth whitening treatments have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. A bright, white smile can make a big difference in terms of appearance and boost confidence and self-esteem. But what are the benefits of teeth whitening? Below are just a few reasons to consider treatment:

Whiter teeth can make you look younger.

Studies have shown that teeth that are yellowed or stained can make a person look older than they actually are. Teeth whitening can help to reverse this effect and give you a more youthful appearance.

Whiter teeth can also help you make a better first impression.

In both professional and personal settings, first impressions are important, and a brighter smile can help you make a positive impression on those around you.

Whitening your teeth can also be good for your oral health.

Plaque and tartar buildup can cause yellowing and staining, so by keeping your teeth clean and bright, you can also help prevent these issues and promote dental health.

Other added benefits of teeth whitening treatments include:

  • They can help remove any staining or discolouration caused by coffee, tea, cigarettes, or red wine.
  • They can be performed in a dentist’s office or at home, depending on your preferences.
  • They are relatively safe and effective when performed by a qualified professional.

Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening is often seen as the best option for achieving brighter, whiter teeth. However, there are a number of over-the-counter teeth whitening products available that can also be effective. So, which is the best option for you?

Professional Teeth Whitening

This is typically performed by a dentist or other qualified dental professional. This means that the procedure is carried out in a controlled environment and that the products used are of high quality.

Professional teeth whitening can also be customized to your specific needs, meaning that you can achieve the level of whiteness that you desire. However, a professional whitening treatment can be more expensive than over-the-counter options and may not be covered by dental insurance.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products

These are widely available and relatively affordable. While they may not be as strong as professional treatments, they can still be effective at brightening your smile.

Over-the-counter methods are also convenient and easy to use, making them a good option for those who want to achieve whiter teeth without visiting a dentist. However, it is important to follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your teeth or causing gum irritation.

How Do Teeth Whitening Work?

Different teeth whitening products use different ingredients, but they all work using the same basic principle. The bleaching agents have peroxides, such as carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide.

The peroxides contain volatile oxygen molecules that attack enamel stains when they come into contact with surface stains like coffee or tea marks. They break the chemical bonds that cause discolouration of the tooth’s surface.

Are Whitening Strips Effective?

Teeth-whitening strips are becoming more and more popular, but are they actually effective? The answer is yes and no.

Teeth whitening strips do work to some degree, but they are not as effective as other teeth whitening methods, such as professional teeth bleaching.

These strips work by slowly releasing hydrogen peroxide or other bleaching agents onto the teeth. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen, which bleaches the teeth. However, teeth whitening strips only contain a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, so they take longer to work and are less effective than other teeth whitening methods.

Overall, teeth whitening strips are not the most effective teeth whitening method, but they are a safe, affordable, and convenient option for those looking to achieve brighter teeth.

Are There Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?

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While teeth whitening is generally safe, there are some potential side effects that should be considered before undergoing the bleaching procedure. Here are some of the most common ones:

Tooth Sensitivity

The most common side effect of teeth whitening is temporary teeth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages. This occurs when the teeth come into contact with the whitening agent and can cause mild discomfort or pain. In most cases, this side effect is temporary and will resolve itself after a few weeks. However, if the sensitivity persists, it is important to speak to a dentist.

Gum Irritation

There is also a risk of gum irritation from teeth whitening treatments. This side effect is typically caused by tray-based tooth whitening systems or strips used to apply the whitening agent to the teeth. If the custom trays or strips do not fit properly, they can rub against the gums and cause irritation.

Other side effects of teeth whitening include mild stomach discomfort and dry mouth.

These side effects are usually temporary and will resolve once the treatment is complete. However, if these persist, it is important to speak to a dentist.

The Pros and Cons of Teeth Whitening

Like other dental procedures, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with teeth whitening. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of teeth whitening treatments.

Pros cons
Whiter teeth May cause tooth sensitivity
A quick way to lift tooth stains Doesn’t change the colour of existing dental restorations such as crowns or fillings
Low risk of damaging teeth Doesn’t work on all teeth
At-home whitening kits are affordable May damage the tooth enamel
Availability of choices Needs periodic re-application because they only last for a few months to one year

Are There Any Alternatives to Teeth Whitening?

While teeth whitening remains one of the most popular cosmetic treatment procedures, it is not suitable for everyone. Some people may have active tooth decay, gum disease, or sensitive teeth or gums that make teeth whitening impractical or even painful.

For these people, there are a few teeth whitening alternatives that can still help to achieve a brighter smile.

Dental Veneers

One alternative to teeth whitening is dental veneers. Veneers are thin shells of tooth-coloured ceramic bonded to the teeth’ front surfaces. They can be used to cover up stained or discoloured teeth, and they can also be used to change the shape or size of the teeth.

Teeth Bonding

Another alternative to teeth whitening is teeth bonding. Bonding involves using a tooth-coloured composite resin to improve the appearance of the teeth. The resin is applied to the teeth and then hardened with a special light.

Aside from changing the colour of the teeth, bonding can also be used to close gaps between the teeth or address chipped or cracked teeth.

If you are interested in exploring alternatives to teeth whitening, talk to your dentist about which option may be the most suited for your dental needs.

What Are the Factors that Affect the Cost of Teeth Whitening?


There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of teeth whitening. These are:

Type of Whitening Treatment Used

The first is the type of whitening treatment that is used. There are a variety of teeth whitening treatments available on the market, and each one has its price tag.

In general, professional teeth whitening treatments tend to be more expensive than over-the-counter whitening products.

Laser teeth whitening is typically more expensive than take-home teeth whitening kits because it uses powerful bleaching agents and requires the expertise of a trained dental professional.

The Severity of Tooth Staining

The second factor that can affect the cost of teeth whitening is the severity of the stains. If you have slightly stained teeth, you may be able to get away with a less expensive treatment option. However, if your teeth are severely stained, you may need to opt for a more expensive treatment to achieve the desired results.

Deep stains or yellow teeth may require multiple treatments or higher concentrations of bleaching gel, which can also add to the cost.

Dentist’s Location

The location of your dentist’s office can also play a role in the cost of teeth whitening. If you live in an urban area, you may find that dental prices are higher than they are in rural areas.

All of these factors should be considered when budgeting for a teeth whitening treatment.

Dentist’s Skill and Expertise

Prices for teeth whitening can vary widely depending on whether you go to a cosmetic dentist or a general dentist.

Type of Insurance

The type of insurance you have can also affect the cost of teeth whitening. Some policies will cover part or all of the cost of professional treatments, while others will not provide any coverage.

By taking all of these factors into account, you can get an accurate estimate of what it will cost to achieve your desired level of whiteness.

Estimated Cost of Professional Teeth Whitening

The cost of professional teeth whitening can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of teeth whitening treatment used and the geographical location.

On average, at-home teeth whitening kits could cost higher than $610. The cost of professional teeth whitening can be between $130 and $260 per tooth.

Your dentist will determine the exact cost based on the severity of your staining and the number of sessions required. Multiple sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired results in some cases. To get an accurate estimate of the cost of professional teeth whitening in Australia, it is best to consult with a qualified dentist.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to teeth whitening, your choice of treatment will depend on your needs and goals.

If you have mild staining or you’re looking for something affordable, over-the-counter products like whitening strips or toothpaste may be right for you. However, if you have more severe staining, need long-term results, or want to achieve your most beautiful smile, professional teeth whitening is likely the better option.

Book a dental consult online or call Narre Warren Dental Care at (03) 8771 4137 today to determine which teeth whitening treatment is best for you!

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk:- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs is strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.

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