Whitening is any process that will make teeth appear whiter. This can be achieved in two ways. A product can bleach the tooth, which means that it actually changes the natural tooth color. Bleaching products contain peroxide(s) that help remove deep (intrinsic) and surface (extrinsic) stains. By contrast, non-bleaching whitening products contain agents that work by physical or chemical action to help remove surface stains only.
Whitening products may be administered by dentists in the dental office, dispensed by dentists for home-use, or purchased over-the-counter (OTC), and can be categorized into two major groups:
- Peroxide-containing bleaching agents; and
- Whitening toothpastes
Peroxide-containing bleaching agents
Whitening toothpastes contain polishing or chemical agents that are designed to improve tooth appearance by removing surface stains. They do this through gentle polishing, chemical chelation, or some other non-bleaching actions