Teeth Whitening vs Bleaching: 10 Key Differences & 10 FAQs

07/14/23 12 MIN Read

In a world where a dazzling smile has the power to light up a room and lift your spirits, the debate over “teeth whitening vs bleaching” takes center stage. We often find ourselves pondering over which is the best way to enhance our smile – Should I go for teeth whitening? Or is teeth bleaching the right choice? So, let’s walk hand-in-hand down the path of knowledge and find the perfect match for your radiant grin.

What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is the process of restoring your teeth to their natural color via both at-home kits and dental in-office treatments.

While at-home methods like toothpaste, strips, and gels can be cost-effective, they may not effectively remove deep stains. Professional treatments, conducted by a dentist, use higher-concentration bleaching agents and can show significant results quickly.

For the best approach and desired results, consult with a dental professional before beginning any teeth whitening regimen.

What is Teeth Bleaching?

Teeth bleaching is the procedure that makes your teeth several shades lighter than their original color. Bleaching uses high-concentration peroxide gels to deliver this level of change.

Teeth bleaching is usually performed or supervised by dental professionals, becoming a go-to for those looking for an instant and dramatic upgrade.

Teeth Whitening vs Bleaching: The 10 Key Differences

Before diving into the depths of the differences between teeth whitening and bleaching, let’s take a quick look at how these procedures contrast:


Teeth Whitening

Teeth Bleaching

Purpose Restores natural tooth color by removing surface stains Lightens teeth beyond their natural color
Method of Action Uses mild abrasives or low-concentration peroxides to remove stains Utilizes high-concentration peroxide gels for a dramatic effect
Intensity Gentle, suitable for routine dental hygiene More intense, usually administered or guided by dental professionals
Level of Whitening Brings back the original tooth color Achieves several shades lighter than the original color
How Long Does It Take? According to the National Library of Medicine, it takes around 30-60 mins Takes three to four sessions, each lasting 30 to 60 minutes, as verified by Harvard Health Publishing
How Long Does It Last? Owing to National Health Service, it can last from a few months to up to 3 years From six months to 12 months
Professional Supervision DIY-friendly, available over-the-counter The guidance of a professional is required
Application Includes toothpaste, rinses, whitening strips Mostly applied as a gel
Strength of Bleaching Agents Low concentration of peroxides High concentration of peroxides
Aftercare Normal dental hygiene May need specific aftercare instructions to manage sensitivity and maintain results

All in all, each of these aspects provides a unique perspective on the ‘teeth whitening vs bleaching’ debate, enabling you to make an informed decision about your oral care journey.


In our quest for bright smiles, questions inevitably arise. We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions to help put your concerns to rest.

Which is better: teeth whitening or bleaching?

Teeth bleaching is your ticket for a dramatic transformation. While teeth whitening is your companion if you’re looking for a gentle restoration of your natural tooth color. Therefore, the battle of “bleaching vs whitening teeth” is settled by your unique requirements and goals.

Can teeth be whitened with bleach?

Yes, in dental terms, “bleaching” is typically associated with teeth whitening employing high-concentration peroxide gels. These powerful agents can brighten teeth beyond their innate color.

Can teeth whitening or bleaching help with yellow or gray teeth?

Both processes can effectively address and eliminate discoloration, whether yellow or gray. However, the kind of staining and severity could influence the choice of treatment.

Are there any age restrictions for teeth whitening or bleaching procedures?

While there are no specific age restrictions, these procedures are generally not advisable for children with developing teeth.

Can pregnant or breastfeeding women undergo teeth whitening or bleaching?

It’s often suggested to delay any teeth whitening procedures for those expecting, until after pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, rest assured that teeth whitening is entirely safe for those who are currently breastfeeding.

How can I maintain the results of teeth whitening or bleaching?

Avoiding staining foods and beverages, and following your dentist’s instructions. By heeding these, you can prolong the results by maintaining good oral hygiene.

Will teeth whitening or bleaching make my teeth sensitive?

Indeed, it’s common to experience sensitivity after your teeth whitening treatment. Some individuals might encounter transient sensitivity post-procedure. But worry not, as this generally eases over time.

Are there any home remedies for teeth whitening or bleaching?

Yes is the answer to this, although numerous home remedies claim to whiten teeth. However, their effectiveness varies, and they may not be as safe or as effective as in-office treatment.

Will teeth whitening or bleaching remove stains from smoking or coffee consumption?

Both processes are proficient in diminishing or wiping out the stains resulting from smoking or coffee consumption.

Are professional in-office teeth whitening treatments more effective than at-home kits?

A resounding yes, in-office whiteners are much stronger than the other two alternatives because they offer more dramatic and longer-lasting results than at-home kits. They’re also safer, as they’re performed or supervised by a dental professional.

In light of our exploration through the world of teeth whitening vs bleaching, it’s crystal clear that professional in-office treatments overshadow at-home kits. The efficacy, safety, and lasting results provided by professional treatments are simply unparalleled. After all, your radiant smile deserves nothing but the best!

The journey to a captivating, gleaming smile is right at your doorstep with NYC Dental Smiles. Harness the power of professional teeth whitening and bleaching services by booking an appointment at our state-of-the-art NYC offices. Let’s bring your smile to new, dazzling heights.


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