July 7, 2021

The Most Common Questionsabout Teeth Whitening Answered

Peri Elgrot

Top 10 Invisible Braces Editor

When it comes to teeth whitening treatments, new patients often have a lot of questions and concerns. If you are planning to schedule a teeth whitening appointment with your dentist for the first time, you might have a lot of worries about the whole process. The majority of the questions about the process often include teeth sensitivity, the effectiveness of the whitening treatment, and how safe is the treatment process. In this article, we’ve listed out the most commonly asked questions and answered them for you.

Teeth Whitening, Teeth Sensitivity, and Pain

Does a teeth whitening procedure cause sensitivity?

Teeth whitening treatments cause the same type of sensitivity you would feel when you eat hot or cold food. If you are already prone to tooth sensitivity, there is a high chance you would feel the same kind of discomfort from a whitening procedure. When the dentin tubules become exposed, this leads the patient to feel more pain or discomfort. Dentin tubules are hollow channels that go through the inside of the teeth. Getting dentin tubules exposed can be caused by abrasion, erosion, attrition, and abfraction. The enamel can be worn down when teeth come into contact with other materials, when there is tooth to tooth contact, or when acidic substances dissolve hard tissue.

Is a teeth whitening procedure painful?

The procedure for teeth whitening should be almost painless. Discomfort that patients feel while undergoing the procedure is normal and is the same type of sensitivity felt when eating hot and cold foods. If the pain persists after the procedure, speak to your dentist about your condition.

Why do I feel pain from teeth whitening treatment?

Teeth whitening procedure causes some sensitivity, but this should go away after the treatment is complete. If your dentin tubules are already exposed, worn down, or damaged, you may feel more discomfort due to the procedure and this can lead to pain. If you continue to experience pain even after the procedure, immediately consult your dentist. Experiencing pain for an extended period could indicate some underlying issues.

Can you get headaches from a teeth whitening procedure?

If you accidentally ingest the whitening gel, you may experience nausea and headaches. If you have a sensitive tooth, it may also lead you to experience headaches. The procedure itself does not cause headaches for most people and is virtually painless. If you continuously experience headaches during or after a teeth whitening procedure, let your dentist know about it so they can assess your condition.

Teeth Whitening and Safety Concerns

Is it safe to undergo teeth whitening?

Yes, the procedure is safe. Always make sure that your procedure is carried out by a licensed professional. Never set an appointment with someone who has no qualifications and no license. It is illegal to operate without qualifications.

Is it safe to use an at-home teeth whitening kit?

As long as you are using a product from a company with a good reputation, your whitening kit should be safe for use. Most whitening kits contain low amounts of hydrogen peroxide. Avoid buying products from unknown companies who try to sell their whitening kits with claims that they have more powerful and potent ingredients. These products can cause damage to your gums and teeth. If you are not sure about how to use a whitening kit, you can always speak to a dental professional. Professionals can advise you on the correct and safe way to use a teeth whitening kit.

Are whitening strips actually bad for the teeth?

If the product is manufactured by a reputable brand and you apply according to the instructions, whitening strips should be safe to use. However, if you acquired the product from an unreliable source, we do not know what kind of ingredients they used. There might be whitening agents that could be harmful to your teeth such as chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide has been found in some whitening strips. This substance can damage the tooth enamel, so it’s best to avoid it at all costs.

Is the whitening procedure dangerous?

The treatment procedure for teeth whitening is safe and practically painless as long as a licensed and qualified professional carries out the procedure. Hydrogen peroxide in gel form is applied to the teeth and activated by a special light. The majority of at-home whitening kits would also use hydrogen peroxide as the bleaching agent. However, the concentration level of hydrogen peroxide is important since very high content could lead to disastrous results.

Teeth Whitening and Damage Issues

Can a whitening procedure make a difference to my teeth?

When you get your teeth whitening treatment conducted by a dental professional, you can expect visible results. Some teeth whitening systems can give patients up to 6 shades lighter teeth or even more. If you will be having a whitening treatment, take note that you should avoid fluids such as red wine, tea, or coffee as well as smoking cigarettes. These substances cause teeth to stain and will reduce the effectiveness of the procedure.

Can teeth whitening damage the teeth and gums?

If the procedure is performed by a licensed professional, teeth whitening should not cause damage to your teeth. Most whitening procedures involve the use of hydrogen peroxide in gel form. This is applied to the surface of teeth and is activated using a light specifically designed for this process. The treatment procedure for teeth whitening does not cause damage to the gums, but it can lead to some sensitivity.

When it comes to teeth whitening kits, avoid buying products that have an extremely high concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the gel or serum. A higher concentration does not immediately mean that the product is more effective. On the contrary, this can cause more damage to your teeth. Check the levels of hydrogen peroxide in the product and avoid chlorine dioxide which can damage the tooth enamel and the gums.

Can teeth whitening cause damage to crowns?

The procedure for teeth whitening only affects natural teeth and has an insignificant effect on crowns. Different types of crowns such as porcelain and ceramic crowns will not get damaged from whitening gels. If you want to get a whiter crown, you will need to schedule an appointment with your dentist to get replacements that match the shade you prefer.

Do teeth whitening treatments actually work?

Can teeth whitening treatment remove stains?

Yes. The procedure is designed to whiten the teeth when the bleach penetrates the enamel and gets rid of the stains. The whitening gel or serum applied to the teeth is activated by a special light to make the teeth look brighter and whiter. There are teeth whitening kits available that are also activated by the same light used by dentists. Whitening toothpaste, meanwhile, acts as abrasives, that remove the stains. You can achieve whiter teeth through physical whitening such as polishing or with a chemical whitening procedure.

Do whitening lights really work?

LED lights used for at-home teeth whitening work in a similar fashion to the lights used in a dentist’s office. They are used to speed up the reaction of the whitening agent and achieve brighter and whiter teeth faster. The light does not whiten teeth on its own. It is simply used to accelerate the reaction time of the whitening gel or serum.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

How does whitening toothpaste work?

Whitening toothpaste is considered an abrasive instead of a bleaching tool. The roughness of the brush plus the paste work in combination to get rid of discoloration from food and drinks while also reviving the whiteness of the teeth. You can get the best results from whitening toothpaste when used in conjunction with a regular whitening treatment.

Is it important to whiten the teeth?

A tooth whitening treatment is not a mandatory procedure but it is a fantastic one when it comes to giving patients a boost of confidence. The procedure also becomes important if you are participating in events such as a photography shoot or wedding where people can look at you up close and personal. The procedure is safe and nearly pain-free which makes it a popular choice among patients.

How does the process work?

1. Hydrogen peroxide is used in teeth whitening procedures.

2. The gel penetrates the tooth enamel to remove the stains.

3. A special light activates the hydrogen peroxide to speed up the reaction of the hydrogen peroxide.

4. The gel bleaches the teeth.

5. For non-bleaching procedures, physical or chemical whitening takes place.

6. Chemical whitening gets rid of stains using special chemicals.

7. For physical whitening, polishing agents are used to remove the stain.

8. At-home whitening kits are used to bleach the teeth without going to the dentist’s office.

9. Whitening toothpaste is an abrasive product that gets rid of stains on the teeth.


We hope some of your questions and concerns are answered by this guide. Although a teeth whitening treatment is not a necessary procedure to maintain good oral health, a lot of people are still highly interested in the process because it gives a boost of confidence. Having a bright smile gives you some form of self-assurance when meeting new people.