Teeth WhiteningBack

In a lot of cases, the natural colour of teeth start at a light-greyish to yellow shade. Teeth naturally darken with age and their appearance can be affected by surface stains acquired from the use of tobacco products and the consumption of certain food and drink.

Also, the perception of the colour of the teeth is severely affected by skin tone and make up. Independent of real colour of teeth, people with darker skin or who use dark make up will look like they have brighter teeth.

Although, naturally, teeth aren't meant to be completely white, a lot of Canadians want a brighter smile. Responding to this desire, a large number of whitening options have become available to clients.

Surface whiteners and bleaches are used to help whiten teeth. Surface whiteners use special abrasives to improve the product's ability to remove surface stains. A lot of products in this category are either toothpaste or chewing gum. The special abrasives in these whitening products are often only better versions of what is used in toothpastes or chewing gums. Sometimes, the effectiveness of those products are limited to surface stains and should not be used as a substitute of a professional cleaning.

There are bleaching products that peroxide-based and are capable of altering colours of the tooth itself. However, not all tooth discolourations respond to tooth-bleaching agents. Individuals contemplating tooth-bleaching products should speak with a dentist first to determine if the bleaching treatment will provide the desired result. This step is especially important for patients with fillings, root canal treatments, crowns and or with extremely dark stains on the inner teeth.

There are a number of different bleaching techniques and products available to patients. The dentist will recommend one of two methods to whiten teeth:

  • Vital bleaching is done on teeth are natural and can be used to whiten the teeth if they have become stained because of food or tobacco or they have become darker due to old age.
  • Non-vital bleaching is done on teeth are 'false' and can be used if the teeth have changed due to root canal, not vital bleaching will lighten the tooth from the inside out.

The three most common methods of bleaching:

  • Putting a special bleach on your stained teeth and using heat (or heat and light) to start the bleaching action; or
  • Wearing a custom-made mouthguard filled with a special bleach for part of each day; or
  • Brushing with a special bleach mixed in toothpaste.


Bleaching should always be done by a dentist. Tooth bleaching under controlled dental office conditions may be safe and effective, but the new in office vital tooth bleaching techniques, particularly with laser and lights and have gone through little scientific assessment. Make sure to visit your dental office for a controlled office condition to have an effective solution.