Tooth bleaching is offered for cosmetic purposes. Many individuals who have discolored enamel are not satisfied with the appearance of their teeth and go to great lengths to achieve the perfect smile. Tooth bleaching can be part of the solution.

Bleaching can be done by a dental professional in the dental office or at home. Any person considering using home bleaching products should seek advice from a dental hygienist or dentist. This visit is crucial as home bleaching treatments may not be effective or preferable in every case. For the best and safest results, the individual should be monitored by a dental health professional throughout the bleaching process.

There are two types of tooth stains:

Intrinsic stain (internal stain) – This means the stain occurs from within the tooth. This type of stain cannot be removed by brushing and flossing and sometimes bleaching may not be effective. This type of stain may have been caused by taking medications such as tetracycline or fluoride while the teeth were forming.

Extrinsic stain (external stain) – This is staining of the tooth surface. Some sources of extrinsic stains are cigarettes, cigars, coffee, tea, or foods that contain a lot of spices. This type of staining can sometimes be removed by good tooth brushing habits or by professional prophylaxis (cleaning).

Different stains require different remedies; therefore it is important to have a consultation with an dental professional before using a bleaching product.

A small number of people experience temporary discomfort during the bleaching treatment series, such as gum or tooth sensitivity. These symptoms usually disappear within one to three days after completion of the treatment. Tooth whitening may not be consistent depending on the state of the teeth being treated. It is important that a professional consultation occur so that you can be advised of any possible risks.

It is important that the manufacturer’s directions are followed precisely. If any side effects are more than mild or persist, contact your dental professional.

Overall, tooth bleaching under professional supervision can be an effective method of whitening the teeth.