Modern Teeth Whitening Options – Q&A

It is difficult to maintain white teeth and still partake in the teeth-staining food and drink we all have come to love. What is the best way to achieve and sustain a great looking smile? Sounds like a question a dentist would be able to answer best.

teeth whitening illustration

Is teeth whitening bad for your teeth?

Almost all teeth whitening methods involve the use of a form of peroxide (as in hydrogen peroxide) as a whitening agent. The effectiveness of the solution will depend on

  • The strength of the peroxide
  • The length of the application

The longer and the stronger the method, the brighter the results.

However, peroxide may damage the protein layer beneath the enamel of your teeth (called the dentin layer) – it remains to be seen if this damage is lasting or is reversible with time. Either way, be sure to mitigate the potential for damage by following product recommendations to the letter, not leaving them on longer to try and get better results. Or come in to our office to receive a teeth whitening treatment from our experienced team.

Besides being done in the care of a dentist, our treatments are more effective at brightening your smile in one go than at-home options – which means less application of whitening agent and less possibility of damage. Contact us to learn more.

What is the best whitener for your teeth?

Most teeth whiteners use a form of peroxide to achieve brilliant results for your smile. While there may be differences in concentration and the form that the peroxide takes, this means that there is little difference in the product itself. So answering this question this will not come down to comparing brands, but evaluating factors such as

  • Method of application
  • Strength of whitening agent
  • Cost
  • Frequency of application


Methods of application range from gels to solutions to strips. This will be down to your personal preference.


Teeth whitening products you can buy in the store are going to range from 3% to 20% peroxide. Dentists have higher concentrations available to them. Lower strength options will need to be applied more frequently and will achieve slower results. You will see a more dramatic change with a high-strength option, but be careful to use it according to specifications – and don’t use it very often, as it may have a negative effect on your dental health.


This varies greatly – but keep in mind that cheaper products will likely have to be used more frequently, resulting in higher costs over time.


While teeth whitening is never permanent, the methods provided by a dentist mean that you only need a touch up every few years. At-home products will involve more regular use and may be appropriate as a way to maintain your bright smile.

The best method for achieving white teeth is to avoid stains in the first place. This means staying away from some of the common foods such as

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Berries
  • Soy sauce
  • and others

We realize that you are probably not willing to give those up for a whiter smile – so when you’re ready to undo the effects on your teeth that these foods and drinks can cause, give us a call.

More Q+A coming in August!

Call Oak Street Dental for your free consultation today!
(541) 664-2210