Whitening, also known as bleaching, is the procedure used to brighten teeth. There are two different ways to achieve a desired whiter smile: In-Office Bleaching and At-Home Bleaching. There are so many different products and methods, I can’t touch on all of them. The basic principle for most systems is some form of peroxide. The peroxide breaks up the little particles of stain on and in your teeth. The stronger the peroxide, the sooner you will see results, but you will also experience more sensitivity.
Many people ask about the advantages to different whitening systems. Some use lights, some use retainers or trays, some are paint on or stick on, some are used for minutes, some all night long…. Based upon my experience these past 20 years, I have seen a general pattern to the different systems. Most systems are effective to some degree. I have noticed that the one hour, or daytime use whitening systems, as a whole, tend to not whiten as deeply through the teeth, and therefore the teeth don’t get as white, or stay light for very long. The wear-at-night systems, tend to produce a more natural whitening that is more stable for years. But you do need to do the whitening every night for 10-14 days in order to achieve the best results.
So, you have many options to chose from. I would base my decision on what your desired result is, how long you are willing to whiten each day, and what you can tolerate to achieve the result you are hoping for.