How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Nov 01, 2022

Flossing and brushing daily are ways to keep your teeth healthy and white. Still, if one might feel like their smile lacks some sparkle or is more yellow than usual, they are not alone. When we asked our patients what they would most like to improve their smile, they talked about whiter teeth.

Also, we’ve found out that many patients have requested to whiten their teeth. So, if you’re thinking about teeth whitening, here’s what you should know.

Why Have My Teeth Changed the Color?

Overtime, the teeth go from white to nit-so bright due to several reasons:


Below the enamel, there’s a softer area known as dentin. Over time, the enamel gets thinner with brushing, and yellowish dentin will show.

Food and Drinks

Tea, coffee and red wine are some major staining culprits. They have one thing in common: intense color pigments called chromogens. These pigments attach to the white outer part of the teeth.

Use of Tobacco 

There are chemicals found in tobacco that create stubborn stains. These chemicals are tar and nicotine. Nicotine doesn’t have color until it mixes with oxygen, and tar is naturally dark. When nicotine mixes with oxygen, it becomes a yellowish surface staining substance.


If one has been hit in the mouth, the teeth may change color because of reacting to the injury. In addition, it may lead to more dentin, a dark area below the enamel.


Tooth darkening may be a side effect of certain antipsychotics, antihistamines and high blood pressure medications.

Young children who are exposed to antibiotics such as doxycycline and tetracycline, when their teeth are forming, might have discoloration of the adult teeth later in life. Also, chemotherapy and neck and head radiation can cause teeth darkening.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work

Teeth whitening near you is a simple process. Whitening products contain two tooth bleaches which are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. These breaches help break stains into smaller pieces, which make the yellow color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?

The answer is no. That is why it’s important to talk to your dental professional before deciding whether to whiten your teeth because whiteness may not correct all types of discoloration.

For example, yellow teeth might bleach well, but brown teeth might not respond as well. Also, teeth with grey tons might not bleach at all. Teeth whitening doesn’t work on veneers, caps, fillings, and crowns. It’s also ineffective if tooth discoloration is caused by tooth injury or medications.

Teeth Whitening Options

Before starting their process, you should talk to your dentist at our dental office near The Woodlands. If you are a good candidate, there are four methods to put the shine back on your smile.

Stain Removal Toothpaste

All kinds of toothpaste remove surface stains through the action of scrubbing your teeth. You should look for returning toothpaste with additional polishing agents that are safe for your teeth and provide effective stain removal.

In Office Teeth Bleaching

This procedure requires only one office visit. First, your dentist at Tamborello Dentistry in Magnolia, TX, applies either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to help protect your gums. They will then apply bleach to the teeth.

At Home Bleaching from Your Dentist

Your dental professional provides you with a custom-made tray for at-home heightening. In this case, your dentist gives instructions on placing the bleaching solution in the tray, and the time it should take.

This is a preferred method if one feels more comfortable whitening in their home at a slower pace but still with their dentist’s guidance. Out of the office, tip bleaching takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products

One may say different options in their local grocery store or online such as trips and white toothpaste and bleaching their teeth. However, the amount of the bleaching agent in these products is much lower than what your dentist uses in the office.

If you are considering using an over-the-counter whitening kit, ensure you discuss the options with your dentist. Also, ensure you choose over-counter bleaching products with the seal of acceptance, which means that they have been tested to be effective for teeth whitening.

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