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March 24th, 2021

Teeth whitening treatments: Do they actually work?

The teeth whitening industry has grown exponentially in recent years. It’s no secret - more and more people want a brighter, whiter smile. As a response to this trend, hundreds of companies are now offering at-home whitening treatments that claim to get your teeth as white as possible. These products range from whitening strips, toothpaste, oil-pulling, and gels with mouth trays. Regardless of the method, the result may not be as pronounced as consumers expect. Here’s why:

Are teeth whitening treatments worth it

Are teeth whitening treatments worth it?

Not all teeth are made equal

Did you know that not all of your teeth will respond to whitening treatments? This is because discolouration can occur for a number of different reasons and each requires a different bleaching method or strength of whitening. Patients who have had fillings, root canal treatments, or have extremely dark stains may notice uneven results with at-home treatments.

A dentist can determine the cause of the tooth discolouration and tailor a treatment that will whiten teeth as evenly as possible. Your teeth clinic may use:

  • Vital bleaching on “living” teeth to lift food or tobacco stains
  • Non-vital bleaching on teeth that have changed colour because of a root canal

At-home whitening treatments only lift surface stains

As we age, our teeth become darker and stained by food, wine, coffee, and tobacco to name a few. While at-home whitening products can make your teeth appear whiter, they only remove surface stains. If you’ve tried commercial whitening products but some of your teeth aren’t responding to the treatment, there may be an underlying cause for the discolouration. Stains that are deeply saturated need professional-grade treatments from a dental clinic with the right technology and techniques.

The teeth whitening product is not strong enough

When you complete your whitening treatments at a teeth care centre, there’s a much better chance your teeth will whiten to your desired results. This is because in-office whitening treatments use a higher percentage of hydrogen peroxide. Commercial whitening products are limited to about 7-10% hydrogen peroxide as a safety standard.

Professional-grade whitening treatments deliver faster and better results because of the higher concentration of bleaching agents with the right tools. To answer the question “do teeth whitening treatments work?”, we can safely say yes - however, it depends on your teeth and if you choose to have them professionally whitened or try an at-home commercial product.

Dr. Gurshant

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a Registered Dentist on March 24th, 2021

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