Differences between Teeth Whitening and Bleaching

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While these two terms, teeth whitening and teeth bleaching, are often used interchangeably, there is a clinic and legal difference between the two. The distinction is actually made by the FDA when it approves products for use. While a conversation on the topic might slip from one term to the other, our Los Angeles teeth whitening doctor will typically try to use the two different definitions to make the distinction clear.

Teeth Whitening

This is the process by which a product can make teeth return to their natural color. This is because the treatment is merely cleaning the teeth and removing any staining that might have occurred over time.

Teeth Bleaching

This, on the other hand, can make the teeth even whiter than they naturally are because there is a bleaching agent in it that specifically makes the teeth white beyond just removing current stains.

By these definitions, ‘teeth whitening’ is a more inclusive definition. As a result, bleaching products can be called whitening products, but not vice versa. This creates some confusion in the market, particularly for patients just looking to return their teeth their natural color and not wanting to go beyond that. Talk to your dentist about the difference and be sure to get what you want.


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