teeth whitening

What Is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is one of the most frequently requested cosmetic dentistry procedures. It entails professional treatments to whiten your teeth along with cleaning and stain removal. While there are many over-the-counter options available for this process, there is no doubt that the way to ensure the best results is by getting it done by a dentist.

Nobody prefers looking in a mirror and seeing stained or discolored teeth staring back at them. It can cause severe self-esteem issues alongside being extremely embarrassing. In 2015, a dentist survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry stated that teeth whitening was the most popular cosmetic procedure asked by patients. Furthermore, a 2018 U.S. Census Data survey portrayed that over 40 million Americans purchased tooth whiteners.

Since we’ll be discussing teeth whitening, allow us to explain the basic difference between whitening and bleaching. Whitening pertains to any product that will remove dirt from the teeth. This includes toothpaste. On the other hand, bleaching includes the use of agents like Carbamide Peroxide and Hydrogen Peroxide.

Why Do You Require Teeth Whitening?

There are many reasons why one would require undergoing a teeth whitening procedure. But before we dive into the whys, we feel obligated to point out that some degree of yellowness is normal. This is because of the soft, spongy dentin peeking through the white enamel – meaning, the natural shade of your tooth is a purely structural entity. The more dense deposition of enamel (the outer white part of your tooth), the whiter your teeth will appear. Similarly, the less enamel deposition, the yellower it will look.

Of course, if you believe that your discoloration has gotten worse, feel free to indulge in a teeth whitening session. Your dentist at Minneapolis Dental will happily oblige in polishing your pearly whites.

Stains on your teeth are mostly of two types –

  • External stains: These are visible on the surface of the teeth. The most common culprits for external stains are drinks like tea, coffee, red wine, etc. Other recurrent causes are smoking, chewing tobacco, etc. A combination of professional cleaning and teeth whitening usually helps in getting rid of these stains.
  • Internal stains: These are present in the interior of the tooth structure. These are due to aging, injury, or ingesting certain medications. These are trickier to take care of and require a mix of professional sessions and take-home kits over an extended period.

What Are The Different Ways Of Teeth Whitening?

There are plenty of over-the-counter treatments available for teeth whitening, most of which you can find in your local grocery store’s aisles. Whitening toothpaste, strips, oral rinses, etc. are the most usual finds. While these are relatively cheaper options than a professional procedure, they might not give you the results you require.

The other way to achieve positive results is by opting for a whitening session by your dentist. To cope with the growing demand for whitening treatments, dentists have two options for the same – in-office sessions and take-home kits. While either can be used to get rid of extrinsic stains, intrinsic stains involve both treatments. But take-home kits are more frequent.

Why You Should Opt For Professional Teeth Whitening

Safer Than Store-Bought Options

Although very convenient, store-bought teeth whitening options have a higher chance to cause teeth sensitivity and damage. Professional teeth whitening bypasses the risk of damage to your oral cavity. As mentioned previously, this process involves the use of chemicals. These chemicals are safer when applied by a professional in a controlled environment, with all the precautions in place. That way, not only do you get the desired results, you’re also safe from any unnecessary harm.

Longer-Lasting and Quicker Results

A lot of people forego visiting the dentist for teeth whitening because they believe it will be extremely time-consuming. The reality is that it’s quite the opposite. One in-office whitening session takes no longer than 60-90 minutes, depending on the status of the tooth and the dentist’s recommendation.

An in-house treatment or the take-home kits provided by dentists deliver longer-lasting and proper results. Additionally, your teeth and oral cavity are protected from any damage.

Patient Customization Available

Before the treatment is carried out, your dentist assesses your oral cavity. They take into account the extent of staining and figure out the best way to give you the outcomes you’re looking for. They might ask you to undergo a round of professional cleaning before starting the whitening procedure. This eliminates all the surface plaque and calculus and also gets rid of any exterior stains.

These procedures are usually tailored to each patient. Even with at-home kits, impressions of your oral cavity are taken and sent to labs for custom trays to be made. Additionally, if a patient has obvious enamel damage, a dentist can work their way around preventing any further harm to the tooth structure.


When you’re using any of the over-the-counter whitening options, there’s a chance you’ll miss a spot or two, especially since you can’t see or reach all the surfaces of your teeth. With in-office treatments, this risk is eliminated. Unless there are alignment issues with your teeth, your dentist will target all of your teeth and whiten them.

Moreover, with take-home kits, all you have to do is fill the tray with the pre-weighed gels and place them on your teeth per your dentist’s instructions.

A Confident Smile

Perhaps the most important reason to opt for professional teeth whitening. If your teeth look good, your smile is radiant. And with the new-found confidence, you can tackle anything you set your mind to.

But really, we’ve mentioned earlier that discolored teeth can greatly affect your self-esteem. With one or two trips to the dentist, you’ll have taken care of those pesky stains and reinstated that confidence. Look good, feel great!

If you’d like to find out more about your options with teeth whitening or anything else related to it, pick up your phone and dial 612-332-1255 or contact us through our website.