Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that can remove years of stains from the surface of a tooth to brighten your smile. This can be done in a dental office or by using an at-home product.

No matter what tooth whitening treatment you use, it won’t last forever. But practicing proper oral habits will ensure whitening products last longer. Tooth whitening treatments are meant to reduce stains, not ward them off.

Professional In-Office Whitening Treatments


The hydrogen peroxide gels are applied to the teeth for three twenty-minute intervals. During each application, a blue lighting activator illuminates the teeth to reach all the teeth that are seen when you smile (esthetic zone) simultaneously. This treatment takes approximately an hour.

Opalescence boost

The thick, sticky gel is considered a major plus because it relies on chemistry to achieve its effects. The hydrogen peroxide solution contains components that reduce the risk of sensitivity and cavities. This treatment is approximately one to two hours.


This procedure is used throughout the world. The hydrogen peroxide gel is applied to the teeth for three fifteen-minute intervals. A chairside lamp is also used to accelerate the process. Immediately afterward, a fluoride paste gel is applied to reduce sensitivity. Usually, patients are given a Zoom home-use touch-up kit to maintain their whitened teeth. The treatment takes approximately one hour.

Deep bleaching

This procedure is known for whitening even the most difficult stains, and for maintaining whitened teeth longer.

Patients who have their teeth whitened at the dentist’s office are treated with the highest quality whitening gels to achieve a safe reliable result. They will gain whiter teeth over a quicker amount of time overall, and the results are longer lasting.

But there are also many safe and effective over-the-counter (OTC) products that can brighten your smile as well. This article could also help you consider whether a professional or over-the-counter teeth whitening method would work best for you.

In-home Whitening Treatments

Toothpastes and rinses

These are life cleansers that lift surface stains from your teeth. They are safe and somewhat effective so will not get the whitening result you are looking for.


You apply the strips to the surface of the teeth for a specific amount of time to remove stains. You can expect the teeth to lighten about five shades. If you are not getting good results after one box of whitening strips, then you probably won’t see results after using five boxes. This means you may need a stronger whitening treatment.

Paint-on or brush-on formulas

This is applied before bed for two weeks.

At-home trays

If you get the trays from your dentist, a mold of your teeth will need to be made to create the fitted trays. You will also get a strong bleaching gel. If you get an OTC kit, it will come with a bendable mouthpiece, plus the gels which will not be as strong as the ones you get from the dentist. You will know if the treatment is working in about a week.

Before beginning any OTC teeth whitening treatment, you should always check with your dentist to make sure you do not have any underlying issues such as decay or periodontal disease. Since they cause yellowing of the teeth, it is better to make sure your discoloration is not related to these dental problems.

Consider taking a picture of your teeth before you use the OTC treatment and afterward a week later to compare the two. If your teeth are not brighter in about 2 weeks after use, call your dentist. You may need a stronger whitening treatment than an OTC one. After a whitening treatment, it is important to continue to maintain your newly whitened smile by following a few simple tips.    

Tips to Keep Your Teeth White After Treatment

  • Quit smoking. Not only is tobacco use bad for your overall health, it is also bad for your teeth.
  • Reduce caffeine intake. Any drinks that will stain a white tablecloth will stain your teeth.
  • Proper oral care. Always brush your teeth twice a day using whitening toothpaste, and floss once daily.
  • Dentist checkups. Keeping up with regular dental checkups will help your teeth stay healthy and white.

You should strive to ensure your teeth look their best because your smile is such a large portion of the impression you make. If you are having an issue with discoloration and would like to return your teeth to their natural color, contact Guilliot Family Dentistry.

Our dedicated, friendly staff can help you with any dental problems you may be experiencing. We are located in Lafayette, and Broussard, LA. We also offer various services to meet the needs of the whole family. Let Guilliot Family Dentistry bring life to your smile.