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Types of Teeth Whitening Treatment and How Do They Work?

Are you suffering from discoloured, yellowish or stained teeth, and conscious of your smile due to this? Thankfully, we have an incredibly effective way of lightening or removing your stains and getting back your beautiful smile. The teeth whitening treatment is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure to brighten and give your teeth a radiant look without causing them any damage. You can experience the benefit of having a younger, healthier, more attractive and more confident look. Many options like professional teeth whitening, dentist-supervised or over-the-counter at-home products are available. Although professional treatment is safe and has long-lasting results, always converse with your dentist to find out the best teeth whitening treatment for you. It will depend on whether your stains are either extrinsic (on the upper layer enamel of teeth) or intrinsic (whitish discolouration in the deeper layers of teeth).

You are an ideal candidate for undergoing a teeth whitening procedure if:

  • You have a permanent set of natural teeth (not artificial)
  • You are unhappy with the colour/staining of your teeth and want a brighter smile.

Through this article, we will give you a glimpse of how to whiten teeth by different methods and how you will benefit from them. 

Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye:

  1. Laser teeth whitening
  2. Teeth whitening toothpaste
  3. Teeth whitening strips and gels
  4. Teeth whitening rinses
  5. FAQs


1. Laser teeth whitening

It is a professional tooth whitening treatment performed at the dentist’s clinic. It involves the use of a beam of laser light to activate the chemicals applied to your teeth for whitening..

  • A protective layer is put on the gums to shield them from the chemicals.
  • The whitening chemical is applied on the tooth surfaces. When acted upon by the laser light, it converts into a foam, which is left onto your teeth for around 45 minutes and then removed through a vacuum.
  • The process is repeated 3–4 times until the desired shade is achieved.

How does it work?: 

The main ingredient is usually hydrogen peroxide/carbamide peroxide. On activation, it breaks down and releases oxygen, which gets into the enamel and lightens the teeth. The laser method can lighten up to 4–8 shades.


  • It is the fastest and the most effective technique; results start becoming visible within a single session.
  • It can whiten the colour of your teeth and can be used when discoloration is in the deeper tooth layers.
  • It is a safe and painless procedure. Done by a specialist with mild beaching solutions, the risks like gum burns are minimal.

2. Teeth whitening toothpaste

This is a self-use teeth whitening method, wherein whitening toothpaste is used as per the manufacturer’s directions to aid in teeth whitening and stain removal.

How do they work?:

  • They contain mild abrasives (salt and silica dioxide) that break up the protein called pellicle and remove teeth stains.
  • They include hydrogen peroxide/carbamide peroxide for enhanced whitening as they dissolve the stains.
  • When used twice a day, it takes around 2–6 weeks to appear white. 
  • Blue covarine, contained in some, adheres to the tooth surface and gives an illusion of the tooth being whiter. They have an immediate effect.
  • Some contain enzymes instead of abrasives, which reduce the pellicle where stains occur.
  • They lighten the colour by one shade.

They are mostly used for surface stains like those caused by tea, coffee or smoking. It is very important to strictly adhere to the given instructions and always use IDA/ADA/FDA-approved whitening toothpaste as they are tested to be safe.


  • Easy to use as only brushing is required
  • Does not trigger tooth sensitivity
  • Good for surface stains
  • No risk to gums or surrounding tissues

3. Teeth whitening strips and gels

They are self-use teeth whitening techniques.

Whitening strips are small flexible strips coated with whitening bleach on one side. They are placed on the upper and lower teeth for about half an hour, and are usually done once a day or alternate days. The daily usage and the time duration vary according to the concentration of bleach. Therefore, instructions from the manufacturer must be strictly followed.

Whitening gels are clear gels that contain whitening agents. They can be self-used by applying on the toothbrush and also dentist-supervised with the use of custom-made trays. First, the gel is placed inside the mould. Then the mould is placed over your teeth and worn for some hours or maybe overnight, depending upon the instructions.

How do they work?:

These contain around 10% peroxide. The full course takes around 10–14 days. While the initial results can be seen within a few days, the final results take around 4 months.


  • Good for long-term results
  • Convenient, affordable and accessible
  • Are gentle on the tooth and good for people having gum sensitivity

4. Teeth whitening rinses

These are mouthwashes containing hydrogen peroxide (2%), to remove surface stains from your teeth. Some also contain ingredients for strengthening and making your mouth free of germs.

How do they work?:

  • The required amount of mouthwash is swished for around 60 seconds, twice a day. The instructions must be followed.
  • The peroxide lightens the shade by 1% as the mouthwash is in contact with your teeth for a short while.
  • Routine brushing and flossing must be followed along with these mouthwashes.


  • Easily affordable and accessible
  • Along with whitening, it also makes your mouth bacteria-free and freshens your breath.
  • Good for maintaining the whitening after professional treatment.

5. FAQs

i) How much does the teeth whitening treatment cost in India?

The cost varies depending upon the location, condition of your teeth and the treatment you choose. On average, the teeth whitening treatment costs in Delhi for at-home treatments are cheaper. They cost around INR 500–6000, while professional methods, like laser whitening, cost around INR 7000–12000.

ii) How long do the results last?

The at-home techniques usually last for a few days and need to be repeated within a few weeks depending upon the product, while professional treatments like laser whitening last for 6–12 months depending upon how well you take after-treatment care of your teeth.

iii) How to take after-treatment care of your teeth?

  • Avoid too much tea/coffee/foods causing staining and immediately rinse your mouth after consuming these.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Brush and floss your teeth properly twice a day.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.

iv) Can RCT treated teeth be whitened?

Yes, they can be whitened by the dentist by placing whitening agents into the pulp canal, but can be done only if no prosthesis has been put over your RCT-treated tooth.


Visit Orion Dental Clinic for all dental and oral solutions and know how to whiten teeth. Get your customised plan as per your needs at an affordable cost. The qualified dentists and staff assure you of exceptional results using state-of-the-art technology and the highest standards of hygiene and infection control.