If you would like to improve the color of your teeth, you may be considering an over-the-counter application or a natural treatment. Whitening kits are sold at many local drug stores. The kits contain peroxide-based liquids or gels that can be applied to the teeth using plastic strips, brushes, or mouth trays. The kits do whiten the teeth, but they require repeated applications. 

Natural products may also whiten the teeth. A natural oil, such as sesame or coconut oil, can be used to pull the stains from the teeth using a process called oil pulling. Oil pulling is performed by swishing oil around your mouth for several minutes before spitting it out. The oil absorbs dental stains and bacteria as it moves about the oral cavity.  Other natural whitening applications include the use of sodium bicarbonate or a hydrogen peroxide solution.

Although at-home teeth-whitening applications are effective, they do not whiten the teeth as thoroughly or quickly as professional whitening treatments. Here are several applications that a dentist offers to whiten your teeth.

Professional Bleaching Products

As a dentist applies a professional dental bleach, the product is painted onto the teeth or added to a mouth tray. To help protect the soft tissues of your mouth from being inflamed by the bleach, the dentist may coat the gums with a barrier substance before applying the bleaching product. 

After the dental bleach is applied to the teeth, the teeth may be exposed to an ultraviolet light to boost the whitening effects.


Porcelain veneers can also whiten the teeth. However, they do not bleach away stains. Instead, the veneers hide the dental discoloration.  Veneers are porcelain shells that are shaped like teeth. Each shell is bonded to the front of a discolored tooth.

The color of the veneer can be selected in a shade that is much whiter than the natural color of your teeth. In fact, the whitest shade of a veneer cannot be attained by natural tooth enamel. 

When it comes to whitening the teeth, dental veneers are more versatile than chemical bleaching products. Chemical-based dental bleaches can only be used to whiten food-based stains. However, veneers can be used for discoloration that does not respond to dental bleaching. Discoloration from a congenital defect, blow to the mouth, dental decay, or medicinal side effects cannot be chemically lightened. 

To have your teeth professionally whitened, schedule a consultation with your local cosmetic dentist services in your local area.