What is Professional Teeth Whitening and How Does it Work?

What is Professional Teeth Whitening and How Does it Work? - Bliss Oral Care

A bright, white smile is something that many people desire. However, achieving this can be a bit tricky, especially for those seeking a professional teeth whitening solution.

If you're considering professional teeth whitening but don't know where to start, this guide is for you. In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive overview of professional teeth whitening, from what it is and how it works to the risks and side effects to be aware of.

Whether you're looking to boost your confidence or simply want to improve your oral hygiene, this guide will help you navigate the world of professional teeth whitening and achieve the results you desire.

Understanding Professional Teeth Whitening

  • What is professional teeth whitening?

Professional teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that uses advanced techniques and materials to brighten and whiten teeth. Unlike over-the-counter tooth whitening products, which may provide temporary results or cause tooth sensitivity, professional teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to achieve long-lasting results.

Professional teeth whitening treatments is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves the use of safe and effective products and techniques to remove stains and discoloration from teeth. Unlike over-the-counter teeth whitening products, professional teeth whitening is done by a dental professional, such as a dentist or a dental hygienist. It is typically done in a dental office, but some dental professionals offer take-home kits that allow patients to whiten their teeth at home under their supervision.

  • How does it work?

Professional teeth whitening works by using powerful bleaching agents to break down and remove stains and discoloration from the surface and deeper layers of tooth enamel and teeth. The most common bleaching agent used in professional teeth whitening is hydrogen peroxide, which penetrates the enamel and dentin of the teeth and breaks down the molecules that cause stains.

During a professional teeth whitening procedure, a protective gel or rubber shield is applied to the gums to protect them from the bleaching agent. The bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth and activated using a special light or laser, depending on the type of treatment being used. The process of whitening teeth typically takes about 30-60 minutes, and multiple sessions may be required to achieve the desired level of whiteness.

  • Different types of professional teeth whitening

There are several different types of professional teeth whitening treatments available. Here are some of the most common:

In-office teeth whitening: This is the most common type of professional teeth whitening, where a dental professional applies a high concentration of bleaching gel to the teeth and activates it with a special light or laser. This treatment typically takes about an hour to complete and can produce dramatic results.

Take-home teeth whitening kits: These are custom-made trays filled with a lower concentration of bleaching gel that can be used at home under the supervision of a dental professional. This treatment may take several weeks to achieve the desired results.

Combination teeth whitening: This treatment combines in-office and take-home teeth whitening for the best results. It starts with an in-office treatment, followed by the use of take-home trays to maintain the whitening.

Non-light activated teeth whitening: This treatment involves applying a bleaching gel to the teeth without the use of a special light or laser. It can be done in-office or at home.

Preparing for Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

If you're considering professional teeth whitening, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the treatment. Here are some key steps to take:

  • Choosing a dentist or professional teeth whitening provider: Look for a reputable dental professional with experience in teeth whitening procedures. Read reviews, ask for referrals, and schedule a consultation to ensure the provider is a good fit for you.

  • Consultation process: During the consultation process, the dental professional will examine your teeth and discuss your goals and expectations for the treatment. They may also take photographs and X-rays to assess the level of staining and determine the best treatment plan.

  • Pre-treatment instructions: Before the treatment, the dental professional will provide you with pre-treatment instructions to follow. These may include avoiding certain foods and beverages that can stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, and red wine, for several days before the treatment. You may also be advised to brush and floss your teeth before the treatment to remove any surface debris.

  • Dental cleaning: In some cases, the dental professional may recommend a dental cleaning prior to the teeth whitening treatment. This can help remove any plaque or tartar buildup that can interfere with the whitening process.

  • Understanding the process: Make sure you understand the teeth whitening process and what to expect during and after the treatment. Ask your dental professional any questions you may have to ensure you are comfortable with the treatment.

The Professional Teeth Whitening Procedure

  • Procedure steps

The professional teeth whitening procedure typically involves the following steps:

Preparation: The dental professional will prepare the teeth for the whitening treatment by applying a protective gel or rubber shield to the gums to prevent irritation and sensitivity.

Application of whitening agent: The dental professional will apply a whitening agent to the teeth, typically containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Depending on the type of treatment, a light or laser may be used to activate the whitening agent.

Waiting period: The whitening agent is typically left on the teeth for 15-30 minutes before being removed and reapplied. The entire treatment may take up to an hour to complete.

Evaluation: After the whitening agent has been applied and removed, the dental professional will evaluate the teeth to determine if additional treatments are necessary.

Final rinsing: Once the desired shade has been achieved, the teeth will be rinsed to remove any remaining whitening agent.

  • Tools and equipment used

Tools and equipment used in professional teeth whitening clinics may include a whitening agent, protective goggles, dental dams or barriers, and a light or laser to activate the whitening agent.

  • Post-treatment instructions

After the professional teeth whitening treatment, the dental professional will provide you with post-treatment instructions to follow. These may include avoiding certain foods and beverages that can stain teeth for several days, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. You may also be advised to avoid smoking, as it can also cause tooth staining.

In addition, you may be provided with a take-home whitening kit to maintain the results of the treatment. This may include custom-fit whitening trays and whitening gel, which can be used periodically to maintain the whiteness of your teeth.

Aftercare and Maintenance

Aftercare and Maintenance

After the professional teeth whitening treatment, it's important to take care of your teeth to maintain the results. Here are some tips for maintaining white teeth after treatment:

Brush and floss regularly: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to remove surface stains and prevent plaque buildup.

Use a whitening toothpaste: Choose a toothpaste that contains whitening agents to help maintain the whiteness of your teeth.

Avoid certain foods and drinks: Limit or avoid foods and drinks that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark berries.

Use a straw: When drinking beverages that can stain your teeth, use a straw to minimize contact with the teeth.

Stop smoking: Smoking can cause tooth staining and discoloration, so quitting can help maintain the whiteness of your teeth.

Schedule touch-up treatments: Depending on your lifestyle and habits, touch-up treatments may be necessary every 6-12 months to maintain the results of the professional teeth whitening treatment.

It's important to note that professional teeth whitening is not a permanent solution, and touch-up treatments may be necessary to maintain the results over time.

By following these tips and scheduling touch-up treatments as needed, you can help ensure that your teeth stay white and bright after the professional teeth whitening treatment.

Risks and Side Effects

There are some risks and side effects that you should be aware of when it comes to professional teeth whitening. Here are some common side effects -

  • Tooth sensitivity: Some people may experience temporary tooth sensitivity or discomfort during or after the treatment.

  • Gum irritation: The whitening agent can irritate the gums, causing redness, swelling, or discomfort.

  • Uneven whitening: In some cases, certain teeth may not whiten as evenly as others, resulting in an uneven appearance.

  • Damage to existing dental work: Professional teeth whitening can also damage existing dental work, such as fillings, crowns, or veneers.

If you experience any of these side effects, you should talk to your dental professional about ways to manage them.

When to Seek Professional Help

In rare cases, professional teeth whitening can cause more serious side effects, such as chemical burns or permanent damage to the teeth or gums. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek professional help immediately:

  • Severe tooth sensitivity or pain that persists after the treatment.

  • Swollen or bleeding gums.

  • Severe burning or irritation of the gums or oral tissues.

  • Changes in the color or texture of the teeth or gums.

Drawbacks of Professional Teeth Whitening

While professional teeth whitening can provide significant benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are some potential drawbacks of professional teeth whitening:

  • High cost: Professional teeth whitening cost is high, especially if you opt for in-office treatments or customized trays.

  • Maintenance: To maintain the results of professional teeth whitening, you may need to schedule regular touch-up treatments that are not only time taking but also increase the cost of the treatment.

  • Not for everyone: Professional teeth whitening may not be suitable for everyone, such as pregnant or nursing women, people with certain dental conditions, or those with allergies to whitening agents.

  • Time-taking process: Professional teeth whitening is not a quick fix. In-office treatments can take up to an hour, and at-home treatments may take several weeks to achieve the desired results.

  • Severe side effects: Professional teeth whitening could cause severe side effects such as chemical burns, tooth sensitivity, or damage to the teeth or gums.

It's important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of professional teeth whitening before deciding if it's right for you. Consulting with a dental professional can help you determine if professional teeth whitening is a safe and effective option for achieving a brighter, more confident smile.

Replacement of professional teeth whitening with at-home whitening products

If the cost or potential side effects of professional teeth whitening give you pause, at-home teeth whitening products may be a good alternative. These products, such as teeth whitening toothpaste and strips, are generally considered safe and effective for achieving a brighter, whiter smile.

Teeth whitening toothpaste contains gentle abrasives and/or polishing agents that remove surface stains from the teeth.

These toothpaste can help maintain the brightness of your smile, making it a great standalone option.

Whitening strips and whitening toothpaste can provide noticeable results in just a few uses, and they're typically more affordable than professional teeth whitening options.

If you're considering at-home teeth whitening products, make sure to follow the instructions carefully to achieve a brighter, healthier smile.


Professional teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that can help individuals attain a brighter, more radiant smile. However, it is crucial to consider the potential risks and discomfort associated with this treatment. Although professional teeth whitening is generally regarded as a safe option, it is important to note that adverse effects may arise, as mentioned in the above-mentioned blog. Therefore, utilizing teeth whitening products at home is considered to be the best and safest alternative. These products are not only safe and efficient but also effective, making them an ideal choice for those seeking a brighter smile.

When considering professional teeth whitening, it's important to do your research and choose a reputable provider with experienced and qualified dental professionals. Additionally, it's important to have realistic expectations and understand that results may vary depending on the severity of staining and discoloration.

Overall, if you're a first-timer, consider a proper consultation with a reputed and professional teeth whitening expert.

Frequently Asked Questions:-

What is the purpose of teeth whitening gel in professional treatment?

Teeth whitening gel in professional treatments contain bleaching/whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide. It penetrates tooth enamel, breaks down stains, and lightens teeth. Its purpose is to remove tooth discolouration and provide a brighter, whiter smile.

What role do lifestyle habits play in maintaining whiter teeth?

Lifestyle habits significantly impact the maintenance of teeth whitening. Avoiding stain-causing substances like coffee, tea, soft drink, and tobacco, practicing good oral hygiene, limiting acidic and sugary foods/drinks, and regularly visiting the dentist can help preserve the whiteness of teeth and promote long-lasting results.