Does Teeth Bleaching Work?

Whitening Teeth at Our Dentist Office in Milton Ontario


Teeth bleaching, also known as teeth whitening, is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that can improve the appearance of yellow or stained teeth. The procedure involves the use of a bleaching agent to remove stains and discoloration from the teeth. But, does teeth bleaching work? In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of teeth bleaching and the factors that can affect its results.

How Teeth Bleaching Works

To understand how teeth bleaching works, it’s important to know that there are two types of stains on teeth – extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are on the surface of the teeth and are caused by factors such as smoking, coffee, tea, and wine. Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, are within the teeth and can be caused by factors such as aging, trauma, and certain medications. Teeth bleaching works by using a bleaching agent, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to remove extrinsic stains on the surface of the teeth. The bleaching agent penetrates the enamel and breaks down the stain molecules, leaving the teeth whiter and brighter.

The Effectiveness of Teeth Bleaching

The effectiveness of teeth bleaching can vary depending on several factors. The severity of the staining, the type of bleaching agent used, and the duration and frequency of the treatment can all affect the results. In general, teeth bleaching can lighten the teeth by several shades, but it may not work for everyone. If you have severe intrinsic stains, such as those caused by tetracycline antibiotics, teeth bleaching may not be effective. In these cases, other cosmetic dental procedures, such as veneers or bonding, may be more suitable.

The Risks and Side Effects of Teeth Bleaching

Teeth bleaching is generally a safe procedure, but there are some risks and side effects to be aware of. The most common side effect is tooth sensitivity, which can occur during and after the treatment. This sensitivity usually subsides within a few days or weeks. In rare cases, teeth bleaching can cause gum irritation or damage to the enamel. It’s important to follow the instructions of your dentist or the manufacturer of the bleaching product to minimize these risks.

Alternatives to Teeth Bleaching

If you’re not a candidate for teeth bleaching or you’re looking for an alternative, there are several other options available. These include: – Veneers: Thin shells that are placed over the teeth to improve their appearance. – Bonding: A tooth-colored resin that is applied to the teeth and shaped to improve their appearance. – Crowns: Caps that are placed over the teeth to improve their appearance and strength.

Tips for Maintaining White Teeth

To maintain white teeth after teeth bleaching or other cosmetic dental procedures, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. You should also avoid smoking and limit your consumption of coffee, tea, and wine, which can cause extrinsic stains on the teeth.


Teeth bleaching can be an effective way to improve the appearance of yellow or stained teeth. However, its effectiveness can vary depending on several factors, and it may not work for everyone. If you’re considering teeth bleaching, be sure to talk to your dentist to determine if it’s the right option for you. Remember, maintaining good oral hygiene and avoiding habits that can stain the teeth can help keep your smile bright and white.