Bleaching or Whitening: Which Is the Better Option?

Have you considered trying to whiten your teeth? If so, you know you have quite a few ways to get to the shade you desire, including laser dentistry. The American Dental Association recommends talking with your dentist first to see which options are best for you.

You may not realize that in dentistry, “whitening” and “bleaching” are not the same. Here are some of the differences.


Any treatment that  removes extrinsic stains to makes your teeth look the best that they naturally can falls under the heading “whitening.” This includes whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses , which simply lighten surface stains.   


Bleaching products can change the natural color of the teeth to a whiter and lighter shade.

Bleaching dental products use peroxides to remove stains that are on the surface and deep within the tooth.This can change the color of the tooth inside and out, not just remove the extrinsic stains that make the tooth appear dingy.  

Some bleaching kits involve using a gel in plastic trays you wear over your teeth for a certain time period. Depending on the original shade of your teeth and whether or not you have decay, you may or may not be satisfied with the resulting shade.

White strips can be worn on your teeth all day. Again, the original shade of your teeth, as well as what and how soon you eat and drink after wearing them, will affect the end result.

Laser Dentistry to Whiten Teeth

More patients are turning to dental laser treatments as their preferred method of whitening their teeth. The laser itself doesn’t whiten teeth; the laser light activates a peroxide material, which releases oxygen to whiten teeth. The treatment may also improve your oral health by eliminating any bacteria present.

Determining which option is best for you depends on many factors. Before deciding whether laser dental treatments are the right way to brighten your smile, talk with your dentist at Dr. Kokel’s office.