4 Basic Differences Between Teeth Whitening and Bleaching

Contrary to what most people are quick to believe, there is a world of difference between teeth whitening and bleaching. Perhaps the main reason behind this kind of confusion lies in the fact that both techniques are meant to serve the same objective which is the whitening of the teeth.


In fact, in the strict sense, bleaching of the teeth should be considered and categorized as one of the teeth whitening options. However, in the context of this particular article, teeth whitening will be used about all of the other teeth whitening techniques excluding bleaching of the teeth.

To analyze the two techniques successfully, they need to be considered side by side and measured against some of the most important factors that need to be considered before settling down on any teeth whitening techniques. So here goes;​


The Time Required

Compared to most of the other natural teeth whitening routines, bleaching is relatively much faster. Teeth bleaching usually takes a few days although this time can extend over several weeks if the bleaching is not done on a daily basis.

Professional and clinical teeth whitening routines, on the other hand, usually take an even shorter duration of time. In fact, some of the clinical teeth whitening procedures such as laser teeth whitening can take less than 4 hours to deliver excellent results.


The time taken is different for different patients since it is determined by some factors, chief among them being the extent of the staining or tooth discoloration.


The Risks Involved

Generally speaking, both normal teeth whitening and bleaching have very little regarding the health and dental risks or side effects that are associated with them.

Usually, the side effects rarely extend for more than a few days and, in most cases; they fade off naturally without the application of any subsequent treatment.

Tooth sensitivity and mild toothaches are some of the most common side effects associated with both of the treatments. The traditional or natural teeth whitening methods have very few or no side effects at all attached to them.

It is only the professional, clinical teeth whitening techniques that have been found to have some side effects although these side effects are simply minor discomforts that tend to fade off on their own over time.

The side effects and risks associated with bleaching, on the other hand, are a little more severe compared to the former. The severity of these side effects is determined by the duration and frequency of the bleaching.


Ideally, the bleaching agent should not be allowed to stay on the surface of the teeth for more than a few minutes. Also, you should not bleach your teeth on a regular basis.

The reason for the above recommendations is very simple; the bleaching agents contain some harmful chemicals that can harm your body of you are exposed to them for longer than is necessary.

Rinse your mouth thoroughly using water after bleaching and take special measures that you do not ingest any part of the bleaching agent directly.


Costs Involved

To bleach your teeth, you will need to buy a bleaching agent. There are many commercial bleaching agents available in the market today, and most of them go for very affordable rates.

It is harder to put a tag on the cost of teeth whitening since the costs usually vary according to the specific teeth whitening procedure that you choose to employ.

Costs Involved

For instance, most of the natural home teeth whitening procedures cost very little money, and there is quite some them that will cost you nothing at all. On the other hand, there are some professional teeth whitening procedures that cost thousands of dollars to perform.



Both bleaching and teeth whitening deliver great results in the form of bright white teeth. For bleaching, these results are not delivered instantly, and they keep getting better and better the more you continue to bleach your teeth.

The same can be said for the natural teeth whitening techniques and procedures. For most of the professional clinical teeth whitening procedures, the final results are just as great and delivered much faster.


Usually, the results that you get immediately after the treatment are the best and final results, and there is no need for subsequent procedures to improve the color of the teeth.

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