Teeth Whitening (At Home)


If you aren't happy with with the color of your teeth, you may want to try teeth whitening. We also call it "bleaching." You can have your teeth whitened by a dentist. You can also do it at home. Professional whitening is the safest method, and will often give you the best results. But home kits can give good results, too.

Types of kits

Your home kit may have trays that you fill with gel and put on your teeth. It may have whitening strips that you stick to your teeth. Or it may include a whitening pen or other device. The active ingredient in most home whitening products is either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both can break up stains on the surface and help brighten deeper discoloration.


Before you use any whitening kit, make sure it has been properly tested and approved. Follow the directions closely. Never use these products for longer than recommended. Don't use them more often than you are supposed to. If you don't follow the directions, you can permanently damage your teeth and gums.


For some people, whitening causes tooth sensitivity. Whitening agents can irritate the nerves in your teeth. This sensitivity usually goes away on its own. If a whitening product is making your teeth sensitive, you may need to take a break from it. You may need to stop using it altogether. And, there are special toothpastes that can help reduce sensitivity.


For more information about teeth whitening, or to schedule a professional whitening session, talk to your dentist.