Most often times the words bleaching and whitening in reference to teeth are used interchangeably. In reality there is a big difference. Bleaching agents have peroxides that neutralize stains while whitening agents have abrasives to scrape away buildup stains.
Bleaching is when teeth are whitened beyond their natural shade while whitening is removing stains returning them back to their original shade. Products such as toothpaste and mouthwashes do not contain peroxides and therefore are considered whiteners. In the dental office, all products used to lighten the shade of your teeth are bleaching agents.
How do bleaching agents work?
The higher the concentration of the bleach and the longer the bleach is left on your teeth the more the bleach penetrates the teeth. The deeper the bleach penetrates, the whiter your teeth will become and the longer it will last.
Your Scripps Ranch dentist recommends two different types of bleaching products. The first is our one in office bleaching product and the second is a take home kit that will allow you to bleach in the privacy of your own home.
What is the difference between over the counter teeth bleaching products and our in office products?
The over the counter bleaching products are much lower in concentrations, and therefore cannot penetrate as deeply. This means it will take much longer to reach a desired shade, and it will take many more touch up treatments to maintain it.