Teeth whitening, sometimes referred to as teeth bleaching when bleach is used, is one of the most common forms of cosmetic dentistry available and most dentists provide teeth whitening treatments. Teeth whitening kits are often used to restore the natural shade of the teeth, although in some cases, bleaching beyond the natural shade is desired.

Reasons for whitening teeth are very broad and usually come down to personal preference, some people find confidence in having a brighter smile and some find that having whiter teeth helps them to appear younger and healthier.

Regardless of the reason, teeth whitening has had a long history in many civilisations with many unusual solutions and natural ways to whiten teeth being concocted on the path to defeating yellow teeth for a brighter smile. From ancient Egyptians to ancient romans to current day, white teeth have long been seen as desirable trait and a sign of good health.

How to Whiten Teeth

Methods for teeth whitening can usually be divided into two categories:

Professional teeth whitening or professional bleaching – professional teeth whitening techniques applied in a dentists practice.

At home – home teeth whitening products that can be bought over the counter and applied by the consumer themselves with varying degrees of efficacy and results.

Here we will go over some of the pros and cons of some of the best teeth whitening methods available today.

Professional teeth whitening/teeth bleaching

Professional Teeth Bleaching
Professional teeth bleaching takes place in a dental practice after the dentist has analysed the specific needs of the patient. The teeth are bleached either with carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide or through laser treatment. Protective measures are taken to shield the gums from the bleach when using peroxides.


Tailored Treatment

  • With full knowledge of your dental history and a professional analysis, your dentist can tailor professional teeth whitening to your specific needs.


  • The substances used in professional teeth whitening methods are much stronger than those used for home teeth whitening and as a result their effects are more noticeable.



  • The price for professional teeth whitening can be quite steep when compared to most over the counter methods, which could be something to consider if you’re hoping to save some money.


  • Stronger substances to bleach teeth are often not recommended for people with sensitive teeth or damaged enamel since bleaching may cause additional wear of the enamel.

At home

Teeth Whitening Kits

Teeth whitening kits often use a mouth guard type tray to apply milder bleach/teeth whitening gel over the teeth, to be used daily for a number of weeks.



  • Teeth whitening kits come in many different varieties and are available over the counter in most pharmacies, making easily accessible.


  • When compared to professional methods, at home teeth whitening kits come in at much lower price for those who are money-conscious.



  • If you want whiter teeth as soon as possible, then an at home whitening kit may not be the option for you, as most are designed to be used over a number of weeks.


  • The bleaching substances usually found in at home teeth whitening kits are typically milder than those used in professional practices.

Whitening strips

Whitening strips are thin, peroxide coated strips that are applied to the teeth twice daily for around 14 days.



  • Results from this method can be often seen after several days.

Ease of Use

  • Whitening strips are uncomplicated and easy to apply. They can also be left in while attending to other tasks.


  • Whitening strips are relatively cheap to buy when compared to professional teeth whitening but also less effective.


Possible Side Effects

  • Although considered safe for most adults, whitening strips, similarly to other bleaching methods, are not advised for use by pregnant women or children and prolonged use of whitening strips may leave teeth feeling sensitive.

Whitening toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes are mostly abrasive and moderately whiten teeth by lifting stains from the surface of the teeth.



  • Whitening toothpastes can be found in most stores and pharmacists and are relatively cost effective.


  • Whitening toothpastes do not normally contain bleaching substances, so there is usually less risk of gum irritation.



  • Although whitening toothpastes can be moderately effective, they are unlikely to produce clearly noticeable results.


  • Over use of abrasive toothpastes can eventually thin the tooth’s enamel layer, making teeth sensitive over time.

Whitening mouth rinses

Whitening mouth rinses, such as the new CB12 White, tend to be non-abrasive and contain fluoride to strengthen teeth as well as whitening them.

CB12 White is a great option for those looking to combat both unpleasant breath and discoloured and stained teeth.

CB12-2021-0450: October 2021