Teeth Bleaching Vs Whitening: Which Is Right For You?

teeth whitening treatment before and after
Teeth whitening treatment before and after

If you’re looking to brighten your smile, whitening or bleaching is an effective solution for tooth discolouration. With so many various teeth whitening options available, though, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you.

In this article, we'll explore the differences between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching and help you determine which treatment is right for you.

What is teeth whitening?

teeth whitening procedures
Teeth whitening procedures

Eliminate unwanted surface stains on your teeth by utilizing an effective whitening gel with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Easily apply the solution to your teeth using trays or strips, and wait for a few minutes until desired results are achieved.

If you prefer DIYing it at home, opt for over-the-counter products that can be found in any store – let these handy solutions guide you towards brighter pearly whites!

What is teeth bleaching?

Teeth bleaching proceedure
Teeth bleaching proceedure

In contrast, teeth bleaching is a more rigorous process that eliminates even the most deeply embedded stains from the enamel. This powerful treatment utilizes higher levels of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide and should only be administered by an experienced dental specialist due to its requirement for specialized instruments and knowledge.

The differences between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching

There are several differences between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching, including the concentration of the bleaching agent, the results achieved, and the cost.

Concentration of bleaching agent

It is essential to stress that teeth bleaching necessitates a stronger concentration of whitening agent or bleaching gel than the usual over-the-counter products. Whereas these may contain up to 10% carbamide peroxide, tooth bleaching can include concentrations as high as 40% hydrogen peroxide! Due to the strong chemicals, bleaching gels are only available through in office treatments.


Teeth whitening treatments are capable of brightening teeth by a maximum of two shades, while bleaching can lighten teeth colour of them to up to eight hues. Nevertheless, the outcome you achieve will depend largely on how discoloured your teeth originally were.


Teeth bleaching treatments are typically more expensive than teeth whitening treatments, due to the higher concentration of bleaching agents used.

Which one is right for you?

The type of treatment that is right for you will depend on a variety of factors.

If you have natural teeth

If you have natural teeth, both teeth whitening and teeth bleaching can be effective options. However, if you have deep stains or discoloration, teeth bleaching may be the better choice.

If you have crowns or veneers

If you have crowns or veneers, teeth bleaching may not be the best option for you. This is because the bleaching agents can cause damage to these types of dental restorations.

If you have sensitive teeth

If you have sensitive teeth, teeth whitening may be the better choice for you. This is because teeth bleaching can cause tooth sensitivity and discomfort.

Teeth whitening and bleaching options

There are a variety of teeth whitening and bleaching options available, ranging from over-the-counter products to professional treatments.

Over-the-counter products

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products are widely available and can be effective for mild to moderate staining. These products include whitening kits, whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, and whitening gels.

Professional treatments

To achieve remarkable outcomes, consider expert teeth whitening and bleaching processes. These could involve in-office teeth whitening treatments or take-home whitening kits delivered by your dentist.

All in all, both the teeth whitening procedure and bleaching can be reliable ways to obtain brighter teeth. The final decision of which procedure is best for you will depend on several elements such as the extent of teeth discolouration, any dental work present, and your tooth sensitivity level. Therefore it's important that you consult with a professional dentist before making your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the cons of bleaching your teeth?

patients undergo teeth whitening treatment
Patients undergo teeth whitening treatment

The most common side effects associated with tooth bleaching include sensitivity and gum irritation. Bleached teeth may also appear mismatched if they were not whitened on both arches. Additionally, bleaching can cause damage to existing dental restorations, such as crowns or veneers and can strip down the enamel layer and cause sensitive teeth and tooth decay. It is important to consult with a qualified professional before undergoing any whitening treatments.

What is the difference between teeth whitening and bleaching?

Teeth whitening is a less intensive process designed to remove surface stains from the enamel. Teeth bleaching requires a higher concentration of bleaching agent than tooth whitening, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, in order to get rid of deep stains from within the tooth's structure.

It also produces more dramatic results for teeth stains — up to 8 shades lighter — but it needs to be done by a dental professional due to its stronger concentration.

How long does teeth bleaching last?

The results of professional teeth whitening can last up to 3-4 years depending on how you take care of your teeth. It is important to practice proper oral hygiene and limit consumption of items that may cause staining such as coffee and red wine.

Is bleaching is good for teeth?

whiter teeth through in office teeth whitening process
Whiter teeth through in office teeth whitening process

Yes, bleaching is a safe and effective way to whiten teeth that are discolored from age, smoking, drinking dark colored beverages or certain medications.