There are several factors that can cause teeth to become discolored over time, including aging, tobacco use, certain medications, and the consumption of dark-colored foods and drinks. Teeth whitening works by using a chemical agent, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to penetrate the enamel and break down the molecules that cause staining.
In-office teeth whitening typically involves the use of a high-concentration bleaching gel that is applied to the teeth and activated with a special light. The procedure can be completed in a single visit and can produce dramatic results in just one hour.
At-home teeth whitening typically involves the use of a lower-concentration bleaching gel that is applied to custom-made trays and worn for several hours each day for several weeks. While the results may take longer to achieve than with in-office whitening, at-home whitening is generally less expensive and more convenient.
Overall, teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of a person's smile and boost their self-confidence. It is important to note, however, that not all teeth are suitable for whitening and that the procedure may not be effective for certain types of staining or discoloration. It is always recommended to consult with a dentist before beginning any teeth whitening treatment.