How does teeth whitening work

How does teeth whitening work​? Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to enhance the aesthetics of your smile by lightening the colour of your teeth. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that has gained immense popularity in recent years. This process is all about enhancing the aesthetics of your smile by lightening the colour of your teeth. The idea is to remove or reduce stains and discolourations, restoring your teeth to a brighter and more attractive shade. Understanding how teeth whitening works can help you make informed decisions about improving your smile and overall confidence. Let’s gain all of our knowledge of teeth whitening, and see what tools are used in the teeth whitening process!

how does teeth whitening work
How does teeth whitening work?

Everything about teeth whitening

Teeth whitening, also known as tooth bleaching, is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to improve the colour and brightness of teeth by removing stains and discolouration from the tooth enamel. Teeth whitening works by breaking down and removing stains and discolourations on the tooth enamel. The bleaching agents in the products used for teeth whitening, typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, penetrate the enamel and react with the discoloured molecules.  It’s a popular choice for individuals looking to enhance their smile’s appearance.

There are 3 main methods used in the teeth whitening process, which are professional, at-home, and over-the-counter Whitening Products. The best effective methods are professional teeth whitening as it will promote the effect in a short time and last for several years without touch-ups.

teeth whitening process
Before and after using various teeth whitening methods

It’s important to note that teeth whitening is more effective on extrinsic stains (stains on the outer surface of the teeth) caused by factors like food, drinks, and smoking. Intrinsic stains (those within the tooth structure) may not respond as well to teeth whitening and might require alternative treatments like veneers or bonding.

Teeth whitening is generally considered safe when performed under the guidance of a dental professional. However, it may cause temporary sensitivity in some individuals. Consult with a dentist to determine the most suitable method and ensure that your teeth and gums are in good health before undergoing teeth whitening.

>>> How long does teeth whitening take? – Get the answer by clicking now!

Professional Teeth Whitening kit

A professional teeth whitening kit is a dental treatment package that contains specialized tools and materials for achieving a whiter and brighter smile. They are a more potent and customized alternative to over-the-counter teeth whitening products. 

Teeth Shade Guide

A teeth shade guide is a fundamental tool in the field of dentistry, serving as a reliable reference system for assessing and determining the color and shade of a person’s teeth. There are about 16 shades with a range of colors, which will be A – reddish-brown, B – Reddish-yellow, C – Gray, and D – Reddish-gray. 

teeth whitening process
Teeth Shade Guide will play a vital role in the teeth whitening process

This initiative aims to establish a uniform structure that facilitates efficient communication between dental practitioners and patients, particularly concerning cosmetic dentistry procedures. This ensures that both parties have a clear and mutual understanding of the expected outcome of cosmetic dental procedures, ultimately enhancing patient satisfaction.

LED light devices

LED light devices are used in professional teeth whitening to activate the whitening gel and speed up the whitening process. LED light is safe and effective, and it can produce dramatic results in a short amount of time. In-office LED light devices have a high wattage, which will make the process stronger and faster than at-home LED lights. However, there are many side effects with in-office LED lights.

teeth whitening process
How does teeth whitening work? - Blue LED Light works

LED light devices work by emitting a specific wavelength of light that activates the hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in the whitening gel. This activation process creates free radicals, which break down the stains on the teeth. The LED light also helps to accelerate the penetration of the whitening gel into the teeth, resulting in a whiter smile. 

>>> How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last, click here to read!

Whitening gel

In in-office teeth whitening procedures, the whitening gel plays a central role in the process. The gel used in these treatments typically contains a bleaching agent, most commonly hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, in a higher concentration than what is found in over-the-counter products. This higher concentration, along with the professional application, allows for more effective and faster whitening results.

teeth whitening procedure
A higher whitening gel is applied to the teeth

The whitening gel is applied directly to the surface of the patient’s teeth. Before this application, protective measures are taken to shield the gums and other sensitive oral tissues to prevent potential irritation. Additionally, it will be reapplied and activated multiple times during the same session to achieve the desired level of whitening. The entire process usually takes about 1 to 2 hours.


A retractor is a device that is used to hold the cheeks and lips away from the teeth during the whitening process. This allows for better access to the teeth and can help to ensure that the whitening agent is applied evenly to all surfaces of the teeth.

teeth whitening procedure
Retractors prevent the LED Light from damaging the gums

Retractors are typically made of soft, pliable plastic or metal. They are inserted into the mouth and held in place by the patient’s lips and cheeks. The retractor then gently pulls the cheeks and lips away from the teeth, exposing the entire surface of each tooth.

>>>> Click here to know: how to get rid of yellow teeth

At-home Teeth whitening kit

An at-home teeth whitening kit is a dental product or package that allows individuals to whiten their teeth in the comfort of their own homes. These kits typically include the necessary materials and instructions for performing teeth whitening without the need for professional dental supervision.

Whitening strips and gels

Teeth whitening kits and strips are commonly used for at-home teeth whitening. To eliminate tooth discoloration and stains without the need for professional dental care, they include bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide.

teeth whitening procedure
Whitening strips are thin pieces containing the whitening gel

Whitening strips are thin, flexible pieces of material coated with a whitening gel. It can be effective in removing surface stains and achieving gradual whitening results. Users may notice improved tooth color after a few days to a couple of weeks of consistent use. You should use whitening strips for about an hour and once or twice a week to guarantee tooth improvement.

Whitening gels are typically provided in syringes or with brush applicators. Users apply the gel directly to their teeth. It contains fewer activates than in-office. Whitening gels can be effective at removing both surface and deeper stains, providing more noticeable results than strips over time. The customizable trays can contribute to even and consistent whitening. You should use it for several minutes or even overnight to get faster results.

>>>> Learn to build teeth whitening business, now!

Custom-made trays

Custom-made trays offer several advantages over generic, one-size-fits-all alternatives, as they are specifically designed to address the individual’s unique oral anatomy and treatment needs. These trays contribute to the overall effectiveness, comfort, and success of various dental treatments and interventions. 

how does teeth whitening work
Custom-made trays will fit on each of the clients’ teeth

The delivery of pharmaceuticals or dental equipment, as well as orthodontic treatment and teeth whitening, are among the frequent uses for these trays. Application of the whitening gels in the custom-made trays is required before application. 

Small LED Light

Small LED lights for teeth whitening at home are compact, handheld devices designed to enhance the effectiveness of at-home teeth whitening kits. They are commonly included in teeth whitening kits and play a crucial role in accelerating the activation of the bleaching agent, typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to achieve faster and more noticeable whitening results. 

how does teeth whitening work
Blue LED Light for at-home teeth whitening

Small LED Light

Small LED lights for at-home teeth whitening have become a popular choice for individuals looking to brighten their smiles without the need for professional dental appointments. They provide a cost-effective and convenient way to achieve noticeable improvements in tooth color within the comfort of one’s own home. 

How does teeth whitening work?

teeth whitening procedure
There are some of steps for making teeth whitening by professional technicians

Step 1: Before beginning the teeth whitening process, a dental professional will typically examine your oral health to ensure there are no underlying issues that may affect the treatment. This may include checking for cavities, gum disease, or other dental concerns.

Step 2: In some cases, a shade guide may be used to establish your initial tooth color. This provides a reference point for measuring the effectiveness of the whitening treatment.

Step 3: To protect the soft tissues of the mouth, a dentist or dental hygienist will apply a protective barrier, such as a gel or rubber dam, to cover the gums and oral mucosa. This is important to prevent potential irritation from the whitening gel.

Step 4: A whitening gel containing a bleaching agent, often hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, is applied directly to the tooth surfaces. The gel is typically in the form of a gel, foam, or liquid, depending on the specific product or method used.

Step 5: In some professional teeth whitening treatments, an activation method may be employed to enhance the whitening process. This can involve the use of a specialized LED light, laser, or heat, which accelerates the oxidation process of the bleaching agent. Activation is not always necessary but can speed up the treatment.

Step 6: Once the whitening gel is applied, there is a waiting period during which the gel remains on the teeth. The length of this waiting period can vary depending on the product or method used. It is usually between 15 minutes to an hour.

Step 7: After the final gel application, the dentist will carefully remove the gel and any protective barriers. They will then evaluate the results by comparing the post-whitening tooth shade to the initial shade reference.

Professional Teeth Whitening is safe?

Professional teeth whitening is generally safe when conducted by trained dental professionals who take the necessary precautions and tailor the treatment to your individual needs. While there may be temporary side effects, they are typically mild and short-lived. If you have concerns about teeth whitening or are prone to dental sensitivity, it’s advisable to discuss your options and any potential risks with your dentist before undergoing the procedure.

You can enroll in the Eye Design Academy if you would like to work in the cosmetics industry. With more than a decade of experience in the cosmetic industry, particularly in teeth whitening, you will be equipped with all the knowledge necessary for teeth whitening, including theory and practice, in addition to performing the procedure on live models. 

Table of Contents
Social Media
Most Popular