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Teeth Whitening 101: All You Need to Know

What is it?

Teeth whitening is a highly popular cosmetic procedure done to lighten the surface colour of teeth and get rid of any stains or discolouration. 

There exist two principal approaches to whitening teeth. 

The slower method, which provides less dramatic results, involves the action of brushing one's pearly whites with teeth whitening toothpaste. 

The paste features more abrasive ingredients that serve to "scrape off" and polish any superficial bacteria and stains. 

For best results, this process should be incorporated into one’s daily routine, optimally after breakfast and before bed.

The second approach provides much quicker and more noticeable results. The active ingredient at work here would be carbamide peroxide, a widely used chemical known to bleach teeth and remove stubborn stains. 

Depending on the client’s request, their dentist will provide them with an at-home kit or do it in his or her office. 

The latter demands less of the patient’s time and is overseen by specialists to assure the well-being of the client’s enamel. 

The at-home kit provides a more gradual change and is preferred for those unable to attend regular set-appointments due to their busy schedules. 

Note that different products contain different concentrations of this ingredient.


Types of Bleaching

The kind of bleaching performed can be classified under two general categories:

  1. Vital Bleaching - Practiced on “living” teeth that have darkened due to external factors such as food, age, or tobacco.

  1. Non-vital Bleaching - Practiced on “Lifeless” teeth which have darkened in colour due to internal factors such as a root canal or past cavities. 

Why is it done?

Teeth whitening, similar to most other cosmetic treatments, is done to improve an individual’s outward appearance and enhance their smile’s natural radiance. 

Now you may be asking “How does teeth whitening benefit people in their daily lives?”.

After extensive in-depth research on the topic, researchers have found that one’s dental appearance impacts the way their personality is initially perceived.  

According to a consumer study of 528 Americans by Dr. Anne E.Beall in 2007, the fleeting impressions of pictured individuals, before and after undergoing cosmetic oral treatment, drastically differed.

There were significant increases in favourability and ratings of charisma, popularity, intelligence, kindness, and career success (among other attributes) towards those who had undergone aesthetic teeth treatments. 

Furthermore, based on the anecdotes of our patients at Maple Dental Health, there proves to be a tendency of increased care for patients' oral health routine after undergoing this cosmetic procedure.

This often stems from a desire to maintain their new tint of teeth.

How to Whiten Teeth

At Home 

When using bleach it is always recommended that patients first consult their orthodontist. Candidly purchasing an at-home tooth-bleaching system without the proper knowledge can considerably damage the condition of an individual's teeth and gums.  

After an in-depth consultation, the dentist may suggest one of the following options:

  • Brushing + a toothpaste containing special bleach.

  • Special Bleach + heat (or both heat and light). 

  • Special Bleach + a custom-made mouthguard (to wear for designated times). 

At-home treatment tends to appeal more to homebodies and those with a restricted budget. 

The duration of the entire process can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.  


Prior to brightening pearly whites in-office, a dental professional will thoroughly clean the set of teeth; ridding it of any plaque or tartar and filling in any overlooked cavities; to ensure they are working with healthy chompers. 

In the following appointment(s), the client’s orthodontist will cover their gums with a rubbery shield called a "dental dam” to protect it from the harsh bleach.

Carefully, he/she will then strategically coat the teeth with a solution of 10-35 percent carbamide or hydrogen peroxide; leaving it on for 10 to 45 minutes at a time. 

**** The quantity of bleach and time is dependant on various other factors (the desired result, the state of the client’s oral health...) and is to be determined by the doctor’s skilled judgment. **** 

Depending on their services, the clinic may also use heat and light for better results.


Teeth whitening cost

Costs can widely vary based on the clinic and its location. 

On average, the price for the in-office treatment ranges from $390.00 to $920.00.

Best Teeth Whitening Products

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to “What is the best way to whiten teeth ?” or “How to whiten teeth instantly?“ because everybody is different. 

Some might prefer bleaching, while others might prefer charcoal teeth whitening or natural teeth whitening.

Nonetheless, we’ve decided to help and provide you with a brief list of the best products recommended by dentists to choose from, if you do opt to whiten your teeth at home. 

  • Smile Direct Club LED Light and 6-Month Pen Supply Teeth Whitening Kit 

  • Opalescence PF 35% Whitening Gel (Use in combination with your custom whitening tray provided by your dentist) 

  • Active Wow Activated Coconut Charcoal Powder

  • LumiBrite Take-Home Whitening Gel (32%) (for sensitive teeth whitening)

  • Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects Treatments

Finding the Right Clinic 

You may be reading all of this without actually being in contact with a dentist you feel comfortable consulting. 

In such cases, we always recommend people to do their research when finding a suitable clinic that can cater to their dental needs, insurance, and location.

If you live in or near Vaughan and require a consultation, we encourage you to contact our patient staff at Maple Dental health through any of the options listed below!

If you are shy or would like to know about us first, feel free to scour through our website, https://www.mapledentalhealth.com/contact-us/, for more information or to request a free virtual consultation! We look forward to hearing from you!

Call Us (905) 832-8303