Your 8 Most Common Teeth Whitening Questions Answered (2024)

Teeth whitening is the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry. For a growing number of Americans, it is an important piece of the picture for their overall dental care regimen. The popularity of teeth whitening doesn’t have much to do with its effects on dental health. Rather, patients see the benefits of having a bright, white smile.

Statistics show a direct link between a beautiful, white smile and success in life, professionally and personally. In this in-depth study, individuals with a white smile were deemed 68% more professionally successful, 64% financially successful, and 52% more trustworthy. Related studies prove that smiling often is another major factor in success. It makes sense. You’ll be more apt to share a bright smile you feel confident showing off.

If you’ve been thinking about getting your teeth whitened or finding a new whitening treatment option, here are some popular questions and answers.

1. What are the benefits of getting my teeth whitened in-office?

In-office teeth whitening is safer for your enamel and more effective at getting the whiteness level you want compared to store-bought whitening kits. In-office whitening treatments also yield very bright results after one application. It may take weeks of using a potentially damaging store-bought kit to achieve the desired results.

Some dental offices, like Allred Family Dentistry, offer professional at-home kits that are just as effective as in-office services but with the convenience of whitening at home. These types of kits are a fantastic solution for busy patients who might not have the time in their schedule for in-office whitening appointments.

2. How often do I need to whiten my teeth after the first treatment?

Once your desired brightness level is achieved, you likely won’t need to touch-up your smile for at least a year or even longer. This really comes down to your oral care and lifestyle habits. For example, if you smoke or drink a lot of coffee or wine, you may only want to wait six months or so before touching up.

During your normal six-month checkups and cleaning with your dentist, feel free to ask them how your teeth are looking. They can tell you if it’s time for another whitening session.

3. What are the pros and cons of at-home whitening with store-bought kits?

At-home whitening with a store-bought kit or strips is popular for its convenience and low-cost. The ADA has even given its Seal of Acceptance to specific whitening products. At-home whitening isn’t inherently bad, but they do have some cons to them.

For one, it’s easy to overuse an at-home whitening product. This may damage your teeth, either through enamel damage or painful sensitivity. Some individuals may find the strength to be too much for their teeth while others may find they aren’t effective at whitening.

By visiting your dentist for in-office treatments or professional at-home kit, you’ll be ensuring you get the best results possible quickly and with minimal sensitivity.

4. What’s the difference between bleaching, stain-lifting, and whitening?

People often use the terms bleaching, stain-lifting, and whitening interchangeably. Technically, there are some differences though.

As the name suggests, stain-lifting is the act of lifting stains off the teeth. This occurs during whitening as well as bleaching. Whitening is the process of removing discoloration and getting teeth back to their natural white color. Bleaching is a more in-depth whitening process that gets teeth beyond a natural white color. Many dentists use the term ‘whitening’ to describe both processes.

5. What should I do if my teeth are sensitive after whitening?

Using your dentist’s recommended products and following their instructions will greatly minimize sensitivity post-whitening. If you do still experience some sensitivity after whitening, try to avoid hot and cold food items as well as very sweet or acidic/sour foods. You can also switch to an ADA-recommended toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity from whitening is generally temporary. If you’re experiencing lasting sensitivity or pain, stop whitening and contact your dentist. If you’re experiencing only minor sensitivity, it’s still a good idea to let your dentist know in case your whitening schedule or product needs to be changed.

6. Is charcoal tooth whitening better than traditional options?

Charcoal tooth whitening products have been trending, but studies show that they aren’t nearly as effective as various brands make them out to be. In fact, charcoal whitening toothpaste can even permanently damage and discolor teeth. This occurs when the abrasive nature of the gritty charcoal wears away enamel, allowing the product to darken the inner dentin layer.

The initial stain removal you may see with these products is misleading as it isn’t so much that your teeth are getting whiter, but rather your enamel is being stripped away past the stained layer. Enamel loss is permanent and therefore dental authorities strongly recommend avoiding these products.

7. Can I still get my teeth whitened if I have a cavity?

If you have existing dental problems, like tooth decay, you should take care of these problems before you whiten your teeth. Whitening products are very strong, and if the gel product gets into a cavity, it can seriously damage the tooth as well as lead to a nasty toothache.

8. Should I get my teeth whitened before or after a new crown?

It’s a good idea to get healthy teeth whitened to your desired brightness level before getting crowns and similar procedures, like veneers. The materials crowns and veneers are made of can’t be whitened like your natural teeth. By getting your teeth whitened first, your dentist will color-match your new crown or veneers to your ideal smile.

If you’ve been thinking about whitening and have an upcoming appointment for crowns or veneers, be sure to let your dentist know right away.

Take the first step towards a stunning white smile by booking an appointment with Allred Family Dentistry.

At Allred Family Dentistry, we use the Opalescence tooth whitening system for our patients. This is an at-home professional whitening system that outperforms store-bought at-home whitening options. You can expect incredible results after just one week of nightly use.

Your kit will come with a special tray for your teeth, a prescription-strength whitening gel, and clear, detailed instructions on how to use the product. During your appointment, your dentist will go over these instructions with you and answer any other questions you might have.

Although the Allred Dentistry team is currently performing only urgent dental work due to COVID-19, we still welcome patients interested in teeth whitening to contact us to book a future appointment. If you’ve already been using Opalescence, we can help you get a refill if you’ve run out of gel or misplaced your tray.

Your 8 Most Common Teeth Whitening Questions Answered (2024)


Does coconut oil actually whiten teeth? ›

Some claim coconut oil offers benefits like healthier gums, plaque removal, and even whiter teeth. But before you make oil pulling part of your morning routine, it's important to ask, “Does coconut oil really whiten teeth?” It turns out that oil probably won't offer you significant oral benefits.

What is the most popular teeth whitening method? ›

Option #1: In-Office Laser Whitening

This is one of the popular teeth whitening methods that some people believe is the most effective way to get a brighter smile. Using lasers and peroxide-based whitening agents in a professional setting, this teeth whitening method provides dramatic, lasting results.

Is it better to whiten teeth at night or morning? ›

Out dentist in Clermont recommends using the whitening trays at night before you go to bed. This is because the teeth have pores, and when you apply a whitening gel to your teeth, those pores open very slightly. While they are open, your teeth are at an increased risk for staining if you eat or drink.

What are some teeth whitening catchy phrases? ›

Numbered List of 20 Cool Teeth Whitening Slogan Ideas
  • Stay Cool, Stay Bright.
  • Chill Out and Whiten Up.
  • Icy Cool Smiles, Thanks to Whiteness.
  • Cool Whiteness for an Even Cooler Smile.
  • Cool Down with Whiter Teeth.
  • Cool Smiles Start with Whiteness.
  • Whiter Teeth, Cooler Vibes.
  • Whiteness: The Coolest Trend in Town.

Does apple cider vinegar whiten teeth? ›

Due to it's high acidity, ACV is not recommended for teeth whitening. If you use it, it is best to dilute it and ensure you are rinsing your teeth afterward. There are better alternatives for teeth whitening, including the use of teeth whitening strips, hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda.

Can baking soda whiten teeth? ›

Baking soda can be used with some water to remove the stains on the surface of the teeth. It can also be used with hydrogen peroxide to enhance its whitening effects. Baking soda can be used by individuals with regular toothpastes too. It is also used commercially in some teeth whitening products and toothpastes.

Is baking soda good for your teeth? ›

Yes, it does work. While baking soda can't protect your teeth from cavities as effectively as a fluoride toothpaste can, it's still considered a good cleaning agent for your teeth. Toothpastes containing baking soda have been shown to have antibacterial properties, which can help protect your teeth from decay.

How to whiten teeth over 60? ›

Swap your regular toothpaste for whitening toothpaste, and you can notice your teeth gradually lighten with prolonged use. Whitening toothpaste typically contains a low-concentrated bleach solution. This helps minimize the appearance of stains on your smile.

Does hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth? ›

Hydrogen peroxide is a common and effective active ingredient in many commercial teeth whitening solutions. Products containing peroxides, such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, act as bleaching agents to change the color of the teeth.

How to whiten teeth in 2 minutes? ›

Just mix a teaspoon of baking powder and a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and brush your teeth with the paste this mixture will work wonders in just two minutes.

How to get teeth super white? ›

Seven Ways to Naturally Whiten Teeth
  1. Eat Strawberries. One of the simplest ways to naturally whiten your teeth is just by eating strawberries. ...
  2. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables. ...
  3. Brush After You Eat or Drink. ...
  4. Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar. ...
  5. Apply Coconut Oil. ...
  6. Brush Your Tongue. ...
  7. Use Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide.

Does turmeric whiten teeth? ›

Whilst turmeric has certainly been proven to help a wide range of health conditions, sadly there is little evidence that it does whiten your teeth. In fact, any evidence of tooth whitening after turmeric has been used is often attributed to the other products that it has been mixed with, such as baking powder.

How do you politely tell someone to whiten their teeth? ›

Why not bait your friend with this: “My dentist is offering an amazing whitening promotion this month! We have that big networking dinner coming up. If I look good, I'll feel super confident and make more contacts for sure!

What is professional teeth whitening called? ›

Laser teeth whitening

Laser whitening treatments are also performed in-office, but a customized mouth tray is often not needed.

What makes teeth glow? ›

The resultant pink fluorescence is caused by buildup of excess porphyrins in the teeth. Excess porphyrins also are apparent in urine, where they are excreted as a water-soluble product. Wood's lamp illumination of urine from an affected patient may reveal a similar fluorescent effect.

How long does it take for coconut oil to start whitening your teeth? ›

How quickly coconut oil whitens your teeth will depend on a number of factors; namely how often you choose to oil pull, and for how long. If you're oil pulling daily for around 20 minutes or so, results can appear in as little as three days.

How does coconut oil get rid of yellow teeth? ›

How does coconut oil whiten your teeth, coconut oil whitens teeth by using its proponents, which are made up of colonized bacteria. These bacteria have fatty membranes that are affiliated with plaque and bind to them. This causes the removal of plaque from the surface of the teeth.

What happens if you put coconut oil on your teeth? ›

The bottom line

Coconut oil has been used for centuries as an effective oral hygiene practice. Current research suggests oil pulling with coconut oil (swishing oil in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes) may reduce bad bacteria in the mouth, prevent gingivitis and tooth decay, and get rid of bad breath.

Does coconut oil make you whiter? ›

DOES COCONUT OIL LIGHTEN SKIN? No, coconut oil on its own will not brighten your skin. Instead, coconut oil can help even out your skin tone and soften the look of your skin when used consistently.

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