Many teeth whitening systems are available, including whitening toothpastes, over-the counter gels, strips and trays, and whitening agents obtained from a dentist. Teeth whitening is ideal for people who have healthy teeth(no fillings). Individuals with yellow tones to their teeth respond best. But this cosmetic procedure is not recommended for everyone.
Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach;
Over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide (a bleaching substance) that helps remove stains on the tooth surface as well as stains deep in the tooth.
Whitening gels are clear, peroxide-based gels applied with a small brush directly to the surface of your teeth. Whitening strips are very thin, virtually invisible strips that are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. Initial results are seen in a few days and final results are sustained for about 4 months.
Tray based tooth whitening systems, purchased either over-the-counter or from your dentist, involve filling a mouth guard-like tray with a gel whitening solution - which contains a peroxide-bleaching agent - and wearing the tray for a period of time, generally from a couple hours a day to every day during the night for up to 4 weeks and even longer.
In-office bleaching provides the quickest and most effective way to whiten teeth. With in-office bleaching, the whitening product is applied directly to the teeth and combined with heat, a special light, and/or a laser. The light and/or heat accelerate the whitening process. Results are seen in only 1, 30- to 60-minute treatment. But, to achieve dramatic results, several appointments are usually needed. However, with laser-enhanced bleaching, dramatic results can be seen after the first treatment.