One of the most basic cosmetic dentistry procedures, teeth whitening or teeth bleaching can be performed at your dentist's office. Whitening should occur after plaque, tartar and other debris are cleaned from the surface of each tooth, restoring their natural appearance. Teeth can also be bleached to achieve an even lighter shade than this original color, according to the American Dental Association (ADA) Mouth Healthy site.
Over the years, teeth become stained and worn from food, drinks, medication and personal habits such as smoking. Whitening coats the teeth and this procedure can be done in the dental office or at home. Additionally, patients can use toothpastes such as Colgate® Optic White® Platinum to achieve the same effect in a one to two week period. This product is available in four different formulas, and works to whiten teeth more than three shades over a period of two weeks and for optimal results within four weeks.