Smiling woman holding a toothbrush with toothpaste; image used for Explore the Different Types of Teeth Whitening Product article

What Are the Different Types of Teeth Whitening Products?

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular teeth-related topics on the web, and for good reason. Many people want to have teeth that are white and healthy. However, with all the teeth whitening products out there (including over-the-counter ones), it can be overwhelming to know which one will work best for you.

In this article, we will discuss the best teeth whitening products available and how they work. We will also provide information on the benefits of each type of product. So, if you are interested in whitening your teeth, keep reading!

Different types of teeth whitening products

Teeth whitening products come in many different forms. Some, like strips or trays, can be worn at home, while others require a visit to a dental professional. 

Here are some teeth whitening products that work well to brighten your smile.

Colgate Optic White O2 teeth whitening toothpaste

1. Teeth whitening toothpaste

Some teeth whitening toothpaste uses gentle polishing agents to help remove stains on the surfaces of the teeth. Whilst some contain hydrogen peroxide that works by removing extrinsic and intrinsic stains other popular compounds used for whitening are O2 and carbamide.

Whiteness is created when an active ingredient, such as oxygen or carbamide penetrates the enamel on the teeth. The molecules in these products react with discolored sites causing them to break down into their component parts which then spread throughout other areas for faster whitening results. For example, the Optic White O2 Whitening Toothpaste uses millions of active oxygen bubbles to lighten the stains on the teeth, with a warming sensation that shows the formula is working.

2. LED teeth whitening

LED teeth whitening kits to use the effectiveness of blue light technology to activate hydrogen peroxide gel. You can achieve professional-level whitening with efforts worth a few minutes a day (this may vary across different LED teeth whitening products). These devices are generally enamel-safe, and rechargeable via a handy USB cable. 

Colgate LED whitening products use Indigo light which delivers superior results than the blue one. 

3. Teeth whitening pens

A teeth whitening pen uses a hydrogen peroxide-based serum or gel to improve the shade of the teeth. The process is simple and easy, and you can get rid of stains in hard-to-reach places with these fantastic new products. Just paint the whitening gel/film onto each tooth and let it do its thing over the specified amount of time. Furthermore, teeth whitening pens have the advantage of reaching every nook and corner of your mouth.

Whitening strips

4. Whitening strips

Whitening strips are safe and affordable teeth whitening products to illuminate your smile. These thin hydrogen peroxide strips gently bleach your teeth. While different whitening strips come with varying instructions for usage (which must be followed), their usual application time is around 30 minutes. To get visible results, whitening strips need to be applied several times over a few days to weeks.

teeth whitening trays with gels

5. Teeth whitening trays with gels

Whitening trays may be used in conjunction with peroxide-based gels and work in much the same way as strips, with one main difference. Rather than strips applied to your teeth, teeth whitening trays are made of a flexible material that fits around your teeth and may hold the gel in place and/or provide light to help accelerate the whitening process.

You can buy them at the store, or your dental professional will create custom ones for you in their office and provide a  professionally dispensed gel. Most over-the-counter whitening trays use gels that have lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, while dental professionals use a stronger concentration that delivers better whitening results.

6. Teeth whitening chewing gums

Over-the counter whitening gums are effective in more ways than one. Not only does chewing them stimulate saliva production and ensure your mouth is clean, but their ingredients fight against tooth stains too. Make sure you get gum with no sugar or artificial sweeteners because it will be good for both oral health and smile. Whitening chewing gums containing Xylitol or other polyols are considered safe.  

You might also be interested to know - How To Remove Coffee Stains From Your Teeth?

Woman drinking coffee, one of the causes of teeth staining

What are the causes of teeth staining in the first place?

You deserve a brilliant smile, so it is also essential for you to know about the cause of tooth discoloration before getting teeth whitening products. Here are a few:

  • Foods & Beverages: certain foods and beverages are known to discolor your teeth due to their dark pigmentation. These mainly include coffee, tea, and red wine. 

  • Aging & genetics: Your teeth become more prone to discoloration as you age. The outer layer of enamel wears thin, revealing the natural yellowish color of dentine beneath. At the same time, some people have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others, thanks to their genes. 

  • Tobacco: Tobacco use can lead to stained teeth. This is because smoke from cigarettes and chewing tobacco leaves will stain the tooth enamel, making your teeth look darker than they actually are.

  • Poor oral hygiene: The bacteria in your mouth form plaque on your teeth which can become hardened into calculus leading to discoloration of the tooth surface. So regular brushing and flossing are essential to keep this bacteria in check and regular dental visits are important to remove any hardened deposits.

To sum up

If you are unsure which product will give you lasting, whiter-looking teeth, then we recommend talking with your dental professional in order to get their opinion before making any decisions on purchasing anything online or at the store.