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Dr. Gerald Regni Jr & Associates

Teeth Whitening Products - What Is The Difference?

By Gerald Regni, DMD on May 21, 2013

A healthy smileThe cosmetic industry has evolved through two main procedures called teeth bleaching and teeth whitening. While both the procedures have the common aim to whiten teeth, there are some ways in which they differ from each other. A cosmetic dentist might use the two terms interchangeably, there are some underlying difference between the two. The following sections draw the differences between teeth whitening and bleaching.

Understanding the Purposes

Teeth whitening is the process which restores the natural color of the teeth. On the other hand, teeth bleaching is done to achieve white teeth beyond their natural color. In other words, teeth whitening procedure has the aim to turn the yellow teeth to white while bleaching is done with the main purpose to achieve a white smile.

Teeth turn yellow with constant accumulation of dirt and debris years over years. Teeth whitening help in eliminating these components so that teeth get back their original color. Some people, especially those belonging to the world of glamour, wish to go a step further and obtain a brighter smile. Bleaching is the way to help them achieve this.

Products Used

Another difference lies in the products used for teeth whitening and teeth bleaching. Teeth bleaching makes use of products that contain carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide as their main constituents. Teeth whitening products on the other hand lack these constituents.

Whitening products contain silica or calcium carbonate as their main constituents. These elements handle the extrinsic stains by lifting the dirt and debris from the tooth enamel. As soon as these components are dragged away, the saliva fill in the space and white teeth are obtained.

Teeth bleaching products contain carbamide peroxide which is an oxidizing agent. It reacts with saliva to form hydrogen peroxide that forms the white layer over the teeth and hence whiten the teeth.Laser whiteningis often used to have better results with teeth bleaching.

Other  Ingredients


Sodium Bicarbonate

Also known as baking soda, sodium bicarbonate helps in cleaning teeth and neutralizing the mouth acids too, which often tends to destroy the enamel. Although is iimildly abrasive, it helps in cleaning teeth proper1y. It is widely used in whitening toothpastes.

Hydrated Silica

It 1s a derivative of silit.-on dioxide, and 1$ safe for teeth whitening. It is also mildly abrasive,alike every other teeth whitening ingredient, but rt helps In cleaning stains from teeth and also removes deep-seated marks ::ind 11µols. It is often used in combination with calcium carbonate to remove plaque and tartar. II is widely used 1n whitening toothpastes am.I other whitening products for teeth whitening .

Potassium Nitrate

Potassium nitrate is also an effective teeth whitening ingredient that simultaneously helps in reducing sensitivity by protecting all the nerves found in the root of your teeth underlying the gums. It has been recognized by the FDA as an essential ingredient for whitening. It is present in almost all teeth whitening products. Including toothpastes, whitening gels and toothpastes for teeth sensitivity.


Calprox is the latest invention; a patented fonnulation that contains baking soda along with sixteen other essential ingredients to give you the desired result. This ingredient is commonly found in teeth whitening toothpastes.

Apart from all these, there are ingredients like Ployvinylpyrrolidone , Sodium Monofluorophosphate or Fluoride, Strontium chloride and Sodium tripolyphosphate that are usually present in some of the best teeth whitening products available on the market these days.

Are these Ingredients Effective?

Yes, they are. In fact , all these ingredients are very much effective in producing dramatic whiteness within a few days. Although the main ingredient is peroxide,the other active ingredients have a crucial role to play in whitening your teeth from time to time.

These bleaching agents, basically all chemicals work together to produce whiteness that lasts much longer than you can imagine. They offer long-lasting teeth whitening solution that usually doesn't fade until of course you are not maintaining the whiteness as directed by your dentist.

Safety Issues

Well, the safety issues are important, and they demands consideration. Usually the teeth whitening ingredients are responsible for making the enamel layers weaker,which results in sensitivity .Often times the nerves inside the mouth are exposed and cause pain and irritation. In order to prevent these conditions it is very crucial to know the proper use of different ingredients.It is only a dentist who can guide you in this regard and can offer you the best combination of concentrations required for teeth whitening.

Maintaining your oral health is up to you. The whiteners and the ingredients contained in them can only offer some relief,but in the long run you would have to be cautious about your oral health condition.

Effectiveness of Treatment

Teeth whitening procedures take time to show the desired results, but the results once achieved are retained for longer. On the other hand,teeth bleaching results become apparent within few minutes of the procedure, but these results last for short period of time.This means that teeth bleaching requires a person to visit the cosmetic dentist again and again and hence can be an expensive procedure. Teeth whitening, when considered in tenns of cost is an inexpensive procedure.·we usually recommend In-office and at-home combined. because this provides more stable long term whitening .

Teeth bleaching products, as they contain carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide, can be irritating fo1 certain types of teeth. Sensitive teeth for example are not eligible for teeth bleaching Teeth whitening products on the other hand are expected to show lesser side effects.

While choosing out of teeth whitening and bleaching,you must consider two important factors:
  •  First, you rnusl consider your purpose that whether you wish to obtain natural teeth color or luster beyond the natural color.
  •  Second. you must consider the effects that both or lhese procedure can have on your teeth.
Discuss with your cosmetic dentist about the two procedures and choose the one that suits your requirements.

Whitening Teeth Bleaching Types

  1. Home - Custom trays are made and the patient can wear them at their leisure to achieve a level of whitening in their own home.
  2. In Office -Techniques used to expedtte whitening in one visit
    1. Laser- refers to a professional teeth whitening service where you apply a hydrogen peroxide bleaching gel to your teeth and a whitening accelerator light is directed at the teeth to help achieve maximum whitening results in under an hour. This doesn't include zoom or mall type lights.
    2. Chemical Activated-the application of a hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching agent to the teeth for a specified time. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide used is usually stronger than what is used in light-activated procedures. A chemical based bleaching solution will typically consist of a solution with more hydrogen then that of a light activated procedure.
    3. KOR -KoR Whitening is the only system recognized to significantly whiten even difficult tetracycline stained teeth within a short time

Not All Bleaching (Whitening is Equal)

Some types of teeth require multiple applications and multiple visits, due to severe staining. It is best to have a proper evaluation by a dentist and treatment prepared, to make sure expectations are known and the proper techniques are decided on to achieve those results. "We have tried all the formulas on the market place and have decided that a few really get the results, these are the ones we offer and guarantee!"

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