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What are my options for teeth whitening?

You'd like a bright, white smile. But, you may be wondering what is the best teeth whitening option for you. Our dentists in Burnaby explain teeth whitening options and the effects they can have. 

What is teeth whitening?

This cosmetic dental procedure is designed to lighten the colour of your teeth with peroxide-based bleaching agents. As the active ingredient breaks down, oxygen acts on your tooth enamel, revealing the whitening effect. 

What are my options for teeth whitening?

You have a number of options when it comes to whitening your teeth. While it can be challenging to choose the right one, each has its advantages and disadvantages and can yield positive results. 

In-Office Teeth Whitening

Your dentist can perform teeth whitening procedures in a dental office. These often turn out to be the most effective option since whitening agents in the dentist's gel are stronger and provide more effective results than over-the-counter products. 

Typically, the procedure takes about one hour, with your dentist using a concentrated whitening solution to remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour. This yields somewhat more efficient results than at-home whitening solutions, which can take days or weeks to work. 

At-Home Professional Teeth Whitening Trays

This take-home option would be supervised by your dentist. During an initial visit to your dentist, a dental impression will be created to make your whitening trays.

You’ll take the whitening trays home and manage the teeth whitening application yourself. You’ll wear the whitening gel for between 30 minutes to a few hours a day, for 1 to 3 weeks depending on what your dentist prescribes.

The whitening solution will gradually remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour.


Whitening toothpastes work to remove surface stains and slightly whiten your teeth. However, keep in mind that whitening toothpastes will not affect the natural colour of your teeth, and they will be unable to lighten stains that have penetrated below the tooth’s surface.

Enamel strengthening toothpastes can help to defend your teeth from cavities and protect your enamel from further damage, which can prevent stains from developing in the first place.

Whitening Strips

These small plastic strips are coated with peroxide-based gel. When you apply the strip to your teeth, the peroxide coating removes surface stains, lightening the colour of your teeth.

You would typically apply whitening strips daily for a 2- to 3-week period, and keep them on for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Because these products contain only a small amount of peroxide, you will usually see only subtle results.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are razor-thin strips of porcelain that are affixed to the fronts of your teeth to improve their colour, shape and symmetry.

If only one or a few of your teeth are discoloured, porcelain veneers may be a practical solution to even out the colour of your teeth.

How do I know which are the best teeth whitening products?

The best teeth whitening products for you will depend on a number of factors, from personal preference to the time you have available in your schedule, and your budget. You may want to consider looking up teeth whitening reviews online for tips and ideas from other people who have opted to take the professional and/or at-home route.

Considering which teeth whitening options would be right for you? Our Burnaby dentists can examine your smile and recommend treatments. Contact us today.

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