Seven Common Questions about Tooth Whitening

A healthy smile full of white teeth is an asset in a social life and in many careers. Unfortunately, due to years of eating or drinking foods that stain teeth, your teeth might not be as white as you would like them. When browsing Internet sites such as or other cosmetic dental websites, you might notice a common procedure known as tooth whitening. But how do you know if this is a procedure that is right for you? Following are seven common questions about tooth whitening that can help you make an informed decision about whether or not you want to use this procedure.

What is Tooth Whitening?

Tooth whitening is a process that restores your natural tooth color. This is a non-invasive procedure that uses several methods such as, brushing, tooth whitening strips, a bleaching pen, swabbing, and laser bleaching.

What is Tooth Bleaching?

Technically there is a difference between whitening and bleaching. Whitening uses procedures that are intended to restore your natural tooth color. Bleaching, on the other hand, uses procedures and chemicals that will bleach the color of your teeth and make them whiter. Bleaching whitens your teeth more than their natural color. Bleaching uses carbamide peroxide, a diluted form of hydrogen peroxide.

Is It Permanent?

Whitening is not a permanent solution. The effect of whitening can remain as long as one year or as little as one month. How long it stays depends on how much you expose your teeth to foods and drinks that stain your teeth.

Does Insurance Cover It?

Insurance plans usually do not cover tooth whitening since it is purely cosmetic.

Does It Damage Tooth Enamel?

According to WedMD, there are clinical studies have shown that solutions containing 10% carbamide peroxide do not damage a tooth’s enamel.

Does It Harm a Tooth’s Nerve?

Again, according to WebMD, studies have shown that tooth whitening does not damage the nerves.

Do You Have to See a Doctor?

You can get over-the-counter tooth whitening products. Stronger products, however, are obtained through a cosmetic dentist. You can browse sites on the Internet such as or other cosmetic dental sites to learn more about the different tooth whitening products offered by various dental clinics.

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