Teeth Whitening: 11 things that you should know about Teeth Whitenting

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental technique because it is a quick, non-invasive, and low-cost way to brighten a smile. Whitening (or bleaching) procedures are popular among both men and women, and there are options to fit any budget, time frame, or temperament. There are several options available, including one-hour whitening operations offered by a dentist or cosmetic salon, as well as home-use bleaching kits purchased at your local drugstore.

Almost everyone who takes a teeth whitening procedure finds a modest to a major improvement in the brightness and whiteness of their smile. It is not, however, a long-term solution for discoloration and requires maintenance or “touch-ups” to keep the effect.

In this blog, we explain everything about teeth whitening, including the process of tooth discoloration, what causes staining, the several treatment techniques available, and the risks and expenses associated with each.


What Is the Difference Between Whitening and Bleaching?

According to the FDA, the term “bleaching” can only be used when teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color. Only bleach-containing chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, are affected.


The term “whitening” refers to the process of restoring the color of the surface of a tooth by removing dirt and debris. As a result, any substance used to clean the teeth (such as toothpaste) is a whitener in theory. Of course, whitening sounds more enticing than bleaching, therefore it is widely utilized, especially when advertising products containing bleach.

When time is of the essence, the bleach of choice for in-office teeth whitening is powerful and fast-acting hydrogen peroxide. When used to whiten teeth, hydrogen peroxide concentrations range from 9% to 40%.

The term "whitening" refers to the process of restoring the color of the surface of a tooth by removing dirt and debris
The term “whitening” refers to the process of restoring the color of the surface of a tooth by removing dirt and debris

In contrast, the ideal bleach for at-home teeth whitening is carbamide peroxide, which degrades into hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide has roughly one-third the strength of hydrogen peroxide. This means that a 15% carbamide peroxide solution is about equivalent to a 5% hydrogen peroxide solution.


Examination of the Enamel of the Teeth


Most of us start off with bright white teeth because of their porcelain-like enamel surface. Tooth enamel is composed of microscopic crystalline rods that protect teeth from the effects of chewing, gnashing, trauma, and acid attacks caused by sugar. However, when the enamel wears away, it becomes more transparent, enabling the yellow hue of dentin — the core structure of the tooth — to show through.


During regular chewing, the dentin stays intact, but millions of microcracks form in the enamel. Over time, stains and debris collect in these cracks and the crevices between the crystalline enamel rods. As a result, the teeth become dull and uninspiring over time.

Teeth whitening removes stains and debris from teeth, revealing enamel fissures. Some of the spaces are instantly filled with saliva, while others are filled with organic substances.


Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Tooth Discoloration 

There are two forms of teeth discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic.


Extrinsic stains appear on the surface of teeth as a result of dark-colored beverages, meals, and tobacco use, as well as regular wear and tear. Surface extrinsic stains are limited and easily removed with regular brushing and dental cleaning. Extrinsic stains that are very persistent can be removed with more effort, such as teeth whitening. Persistent exterior stains may reach the dentin and become entrenched if not addressed soon.


Internal stains are stains that form on the interior of the teeth. Intrinsic stains are caused by trauma, age, mineral exposure (such as tetracycline) during tooth development, and/or excessive fluoride ingestion. Once upon a time, it was considered that inherent stains were too resistant to bleaching to be eradicated. According to cosmetic dentistry professionals, even deep-set intrinsic stains may be removed with supervised take-home teeth whitening that is maintained for months or even a year. Dental veneers are an alternative cosmetic solution for correcting natural stains if everything else fails.


What Is the Cause of Tooth Discoloration?

Tooth color and age are inextricably linked. Teeth darken with time due to wear and tear and stain accumulation. Whitening will very certainly have an instant and dramatic effect on youngsters. Teeth whitening may need a bit more effort when teeth begin to develop a yellow hue in their twenties. The yellow had faded to brown by the 1940s, and extra maintenance may be necessary. By the 1950s, the teeth had accumulated a variety of stubborn stains, which can be difficult (but not impossible) to remove.


Starting color

We all have a natural tooth color that ranges from yellow-brownish to greenish-gray and darkens with age. Green-gray bleaches more easily than yellow-brown.


Translucency and thinness

Translucency and thinness are two more genetic characteristics that become more evident as you mature. While all teeth have some translucency, opaque and thick teeth have an advantage in that they seem lighter in color, sparkle more, and are more bleachable. Thinner and more transparent teeth, particularly the front teeth, contain less of the pigment required for teeth whitening. According to cosmetic dentists, the single issue that no amount of teeth whitening can resolve is transparency.


Consumption habits

Consuming red wine, coffee, tea, cola, carrots, oranges, and other dark-colored beverages and meals on a regular basis causes considerable discoloration over time. Acidic foods such as citrus fruits and vinegar also contribute to enamel loss. The surface becomes more transparent as a result, displaying more yellow-colored dentin.

Red wine is one of the causes considerable discoloration over time
Red wine is one of the causes of considerable discoloration over time


Tobacco usage causes brownish deposits to accumulate on the teeth, which gradually soak into the structure and produce intrinsic discoloration.



The use of tetracycline during tooth growth results in dark grey or brown ribbon stains that are particularly difficult to remove. Fluorosis (discoloration of the teeth characterized by the creation of faint white marks) and associated regions of white mottling are caused by excessive fluoride consumption.


Teeth grinding (gnashing, bruxing, etc.) 

Grinding can cause micro-cracking and darkening of the biting edges. Stress is the most prevalent cause of it.



Falls and other incidents can leave large gaps between the teeth, trapping bacteria and debris.


What are your whitening options?

There are three primary tooth whitening options available nowadays. All three are dependent on varying peroxide concentrations and application periods.


Chairside Whitening

The major benefit of in-office teeth whitening is the noticeable color change in a short period of time. After the gums have been covered with a paint-on rubber dam, the dentist or skilled technician applies a fairly high-concentration peroxide gel to the teeth. Peroxide is often applied to the teeth for 15 to 20 minutes at a session, for a total of one hour (at most). Those with really stubborn stains may be advised to return for one or more bleaching treatments or to employ a home-use procedure.


The price is approximately 3.000.000 VND.


Professionals Provide Take-Home Kits

Many dentists feel that using take-home tooth whitening products correctly might produce the finest long-term results. Take-home kits include a low-concentration peroxide gel that sits on the teeth for an hour or longer (sometimes overnight). The lower the peroxide content, the longer it may safely remain on the teeth. To apply the gel to the teeth, custom-made whitening trays that resemble mouth guards are employed.


The price ranges from 900.000 VND to 1.500.000 VND.


Teeth Whitening Products Available Over-the-Counter

Over-the-counter bleaching is the least expensive and most convenient way of tooth whitening. It comprises utilizing a store-bought whitening kit with a lesser dose of bleaching gel than professionally administered take-home whiteners. To apply the gel to the teeth, one-size-fits-all trays, strips, or paint-on applicators are utilized. Unlike custom-made trays, which may whiten the whole smile, this may only whiten a few front teeth. Crest 3D White strips have recently been the most popular alternative in Vietnam.


The price ranges from 60.000 VND to 700.000 VND.


The consequences are subjective and vary widely across individuals. Many people are overjoyed with their outcomes immediately, while others may be disappointed. Before beginning any teeth whitening technique, consult with your dentist about the type of results you may expect and how long it will take to get them.


Color Palettes

In the dental clinic, before-and-after tooth color is frequently assessed using shade criteria. These are portable displays that display a range of tooth colors. (They are used by dentists to pick crowns and other restoration colors.)


The Vitapan Classical Shade Guide has long been the industry standard. This shade guide standard includes 16 colors that are grouped systematically from light to dark into four color groups and gives a uniform tooth-color language.


While teeth whitening can sometimes lighten tooth color by nine or more shades, the majority of people who bleach their teeth will observe a difference of two to seven shades.



When protocols are followed exactly, teeth whitening treatments are deemed safe. However, there are several hazards to bleaching that you should be aware of:


Bleaching may temporarily increase your sensitivity to temperature, pressure, and touch. When harsher bleach is used during in-office tooth whitening, this is more likely to occur. Some patients get “zingers,” or shooting sensations in the midst of their front teeth. Those who have gum recession, significant cracks in their teeth, or leaks produced by inadequate restorations are especially vulnerable to whitening discomfort. Even in the absence of additional risk factors, redheads have been found to be more sensitive to tooth sensitivity and zingers. Whitening sensitivity normally lasts a day or two, but in extreme cases, it might last up to a month. Some dentists prescribe potassium nitrate toothpaste for sensitive teeth.


Gum inflammation: Gum inflammation occurs in more than half of people who use peroxide whiteners as a result of bleach concentration or contact with the trays. The discomfort normally lasts a few days and disappears if the bleaching or peroxide concentration is lowered.


Bonding, dental crowns, and veneers are not affected by bleach, thus they keep their natural color while the surrounding teeth are whitened. As a result, the disease is known as “technicolor teeth.”


Maintaining Your Progress

To lengthen the life of freshly whitened teeth, dentists will likely prescribe at-home follow-up or maintenance whitening. This can be done as soon as possible or as seldom as once a year.

Avoid dark-colored foods and beverages for at least a week after whitening.

When feasible, drink dark-colored drinks with a straw.

Brushing and flossing after meals and before night are essential for optimal tooth hygiene.

What Is the Price of Teeth Whitening?

Pricing may differ significantly based on the product and technique required.


Professional in-office teeth whitening (chairside whitening) is the most expensive option, costing on average of 3.000.000 VND for each visit (price can range from 2.000.000 VND to 3.500.000 VND). It does, however, offer the benefit of being performed by a skilled dental professional, guaranteeing that you get the results you need.


Over-the-counter strips and trays, which may be obtained at a local pharmacy or grocery store, are the most expensive option. These products range in price from 60.000 VND to 700.000 VND, making them tempting to those looking for a quick smile boost without the high expense of professional teeth whitening. However, keep in mind that the results of these less-priced, low-concentration peroxide whiteners might vary greatly.


If you’re looking for a middle ground between professional teeth whitening and over-the-counter treatments, you could be a good candidate for professionally distributed take-home kits. These kits, which are recommended by a dentist and cost between $100 and $400, have the ability to produce outcomes that are equal to those produced in-office by a dentist.


Preserve in mind that whitening results aren’t permanent, so if you want to keep your white smile, you’ll need to continue receiving treatments once the benefits wear off.

So, are you considering having teeth whitening to brighten up a dull smile? Professional chairside whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure today. Unlike home-use bleaching treatments that employ low-dose bleaching chemicals, chairside whitening is performed under strictly controlled settings, allowing for the safe, controlled, and pain-free administration of a relatively high concentration of bleaching gel – with speedy results.



  • It yields the quickest outcomes.
  • The most secure bleaching procedure.
  • Gum and tooth sensitivity (which were formerly disadvantages of chairside bleaching) are now more manageable thanks to thicker peroxide gels (which do not sink as deeply into the teeth as earlier gels) and the use of desensitizers such as potassium nitrate and fluoride.
The most secure bleaching procedure
The most secure bleaching procedure


  • More expensive than at-home choices – around 3.000.000 VND on average, compared to 180.000 VND to 250.000 VND for take-home trays (not including bleaching paste, which ranges from 100.000 to 700.000 VND) and 500.000 VND to 600.000 VND for over-the-counter bleaching trays or strips.
  • The findings might be unexpected depending on factors such as age, inheritance, and the type of staining present.


  • Chairside bleaching is not a sustainable solution. Your teeth will begin to stain again quickly after the therapy is completed. As a result, many dentists recommend using a lower-percentage bleach at home that may be left on for extended periods of time.


Stains That Should Be Removed Professionally

Organic stains or discolorations induced by the following reasons are removed by chairside whitening:


  • Aging: Teeth typically tarnish with age, taking on a yellow, brown, green, or grey tint (according to genetics and/or dietary choices). Yellowed teeth are the most easily whitened.
  • Consuming specific foods (notably coffee, red wine, sodas, and dark-colored vegetables and fruits).
  • The use of tobacco.


Resistant to Chairside Whitening Stains


  • Chairside treatment is ineffective on teeth with some stains, particularly inorganic stains. Indeed, when the adjacent teeth are whitened, these teeth may seem significantly darker.
  • Trauma-induced discoloration of the dentin.
  • Tetracycline antibiotic use during the years of tooth formation. These drugs chemically attach to the crystalline structure of the tooth’s enamel as well as the underlying dentin.
  • Fluorosis, which causes tooth discoloration, can be caused by consuming too much fluoride.


How would you know whether this method is right for you?

This approach is not suitable for anyone suffering from any of the following conditions:

  • Oral hypersensitivity: To avoid a hypersensitive reaction, your dentist will most likely recommend take-home bleaching trays with a low dose of carbamide peroxide, which is milder than hydrogen peroxide.
  • Obstinate staining: Some stains are resistant to high quantities of chairside bleach. In such cases, dentists may recommend supervised at-home whitening or alternatives to peroxide bleaching such as teeth bonding, crowns, or veneers.
  • Translucent teeth that have aged. This is particularly true for the front teeth, which are already thin.


Teeth Cleaning

Most likely, a prophylactic cleaning will be conducted to remove plaque and debris that has collected on the surface and between the teeth.

A dental examination will be performed (usually in combination with preventative cleaning) to search for issues such as severe tooth decay, cracks, and gum disease. Bleaches can cause varying degrees of irritation if these circumstances present. Your dentist will almost certainly postpone the treatment until these concerns are addressed.

Your teeth may be photographed and the color of your teeth measured using a shade guide. This acts as a benchmark against which your progress may be measured.

Your teeth may be photographed and the color of your teeth measured using a shade guide
Your teeth may be photographed and the color of your teeth measured using a shade guide

The Chairside Whitening Process

While the details may vary, a fairly common method is followed. The stages are typically not painful or uncomfortable; in fact, many patients doze off or watch a DVD or TV throughout the procedure.


A cheek retractor is put in your mouth, exposing all teeth in the “esthetic zone” (teeth that are visible when you smile).

A liquid rubber dam or hardening resin is painted over the gum tissue to shield it from any discomfort caused by the bleaching gel.

The esthetic zone teeth are bleached using a hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching gel for 15 to 30 minutes.

After suctioning or washing away the bleaching gel, a fresh gel is applied for one or more 15-minute sessions.

Some teeth whitening techniques include a strong light that is focused on the teeth and is intended to initiate or accelerate the bleaching process. It is debatable if this light improves the bleaching outcome.

In between gel treatments, the teeth are checked to see how deeply they have whitened and if extra bleach is required.

After the last gel application, the cheek retractors are removed, the patient rinses, and the immediate post-treatment shade change is assessed. Whitening can range from two to three colors to eight hues (out of a total of 16). During the bleaching procedure, dehydration helps to the whitening effect, making the teeth look whiter than they are. That hue will arrive in a few days.

If the desired level of whitening is not achieved, your dentist may recommend a follow-up chairside bleaching treatment and/or a home bleaching tray practice.


Below is an article that Lang moi shares for you, if you have any questions that need to be answered, don’t be hesitate to contact us!

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