What are the kinds of teeth whitening products?

If your teeth are discolored, tooth whitening may help. "Whitening" is any process that makes teeth look whiter. Whitening may be safely performed in a dental office or at home. There are two major groups of whitening products:
  • Chemical-containing whiteners or bleaching products, which change the color of teeth by removing deep and surface stains
  • Whitening toothpastes that do not contain bleach and remove surface stains only
There are many tooth whitening products. Some are used only in the dentist's office, while others are approved to be sold over-the-counter. Most whitening agents contain hydrogen peroxide in the form of a gel or solution, which is applied directly to teeth. Some whitening products are specially activated by a blue laser, which quickens the bleaching process in the dentist's office. In-home whitening products may be done in trays you put in your mouth to bleach your teeth. Others come in the form of strips you put on your teeth for a certain amount of time. Over-the-counter products may be less effective than those at the dentist's office. Many toothpastes have whitening products in them.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.