The professional blog of Doctors Dan Bruce, Steve Bruce, Rosa Pothier and Rob Ririe
"Whitening" is any process that makes the teeth appear whiter. This can be achieved in two different ways. Some products bleach the tooth and actually change the natural tooth color. On the other hand, non-bleaching whitening products contain agents that work by physical or chemical action to help remove surface stains only.
Whitening products may be administered in the dental office, dispensed by dentists for home-use, or purchased over-the-counter (OTC). There are two major groups of whitening products:
• Peroxide-containing bleaching agents
• Whitening toothpastes (dentifrices)
The ADA recommends that you consult with a dentist before choosing to use a bleaching product. This is especially important for patients with numerous fillings, crowns, and/or extremely dark stains. A thorough oral examination is essential to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment. The dentist and patient together can determine the most appropriate treatment. The dentist can then provide bleaching instructions, answer any questions, and supervise treatment.