Skip Navigation

5 Things to Understand About Teeth Whitening

5 Things to Understand About Teeth Whitening

If you’ve been researching methods to whiten your teeth, allow Olney Dental to tell you five things you should understand about teeth whitening.

You aren’t alone if you want a whiter and brighter smile. Most people want a radiant, million-dollar smile. However, drinking coffee and acidic beverages, and eating food with deeply-colored sauces, such as pasta and pizza, can make it harder to have a whiter smile. Another reason for tooth discoloration is taking certain antibiotics or high blood pressure medication. For these reasons, people often investigate teeth-whitening options. If you’ve been researching methods to whiten your teeth, allow Olney Dental to tell you five things you should understand about teeth whitening. 

More Info About How Teeth Become Discolored

Coffee, tea, soda, and wine have pigments that latch onto tooth enamel. The tar and nicotine found in tobacco products also produce brown and yellow stains. 

Time also plays a factor because as we age, the outer enamel of our teeth becomes thinner. With that said, the underlying yellowish dentin shows through more. 

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening involves bleaching teeth with either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. An oxidation reaction breaks down the stains.

What are Teeth Whitening Options?

Professional teeth whitening at a dentist’s office is the best, fastest, and safest way to whiten your teeth. Under a dentist’s supervision, whitening a higher concentration of whitening agents can be used. 

A dentist will protect your gums from exposure to these agents as they could otherwise face damage from the process. A specialized light or laser also enhances the treatment, which typically takes less than 90 minutes and can brighten your teeth up to ten shades. 


Whitening strips are a cost-effective, at-home option and consist of a thin strip of material covered with a hydrogen peroxide-based gel. You can receive the best results by wearing the strips for 30 minutes twice a week for 14 days. 

If you have severely misaligned teeth, you might run into a problem with whitening strips. They are best used for people with straighter smiles. Overlapping or turned teeth might end up with untreated spots. You could also have issues getting the strips to seal correctly.


Whitening trays are costlier than strips but are typically more effective than strips or whitening toothpaste. You use teeth whitening trays by filling the tray with the whitening gel and wearing the trays for 30 minutes a day or overnight for several weeks. 

Toothpaste and Rinses 

Whitening toothpaste contains mild abrasives that might remove surface stains. However, whitening toothpaste differs from other methods that use bleach to change the color of your teeth. Whitening toothpaste is cost-effective, and all you have to do is switch out your old toothpaste for one with a whitening focus. 

However, toothpaste and rinses take longer to work and only brighten shades by one or two. The results also last less time than other teeth whitening methods. 

Teeth Whitening Isn’t One-Sized-Fits-All

Usually, yellow teeth will bleach well. However, brown or grayish colors don’t bleach as well or might not respond at all. 


Another reason whitening agents don’t respond well is tooth discoloration stemming from medications or a tooth injury. Also, crowns, fillings, caps, or veneers will not react to whitening. 

Does Whitening Your Teeth Have Any Side Effects?

Whitening your tooth might cause sensitivity, which happens when the whitening agent penetrates the enamel and irritates the tooth’s nerve. This effect is short-term, and the application can happen again once the effect subsides. 

It’s always best to follow the label’s instructions or talk to your dentist about at-home methods. Overusing bleaching gels can damage your gums or tooth enamel.  

If you’re thinking about whitening your teeth, contact the professionals at Olney Dental. Our dental professionals will be able to advise you on if the process is worthwhile given the condition of your teeth. 

You Can Trust Olney Dental for All of Your Dental Care Needs

For all of your oral care questions and concerns, Olney Dental has the expertise and professionalism to get them the answers they need. Olney Dental is ready to supply you with expert service in a professional environment. Schedule an appointment online today! For more information on how we can give your family the best dentist experience available, give us a call at (301) 250-1057 or contact us online. For more dental tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 14th, 2022 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.