Teeth whitening (bleaching) is a method of using oxidants (Carbamide Peroxide – home bleaching or Hydrogen Peroxide – professional bleaching) to penetrate through the enamel, when combined with light energy will create an oxidation reaction severing the molecular chain in dentin, making tooth color brighter than the original color without abrasion of the tooth surface.

There are many methods of teeth whitening which is widely applied in Vietnam and many countries around the world. Teeth whitening is safe for dental health, does not harm tooth enamel, and does not change tooth structure if done properly. 

Why do my teeth get stained?

There are 2 main causes of tooth discoloration:

(1) Discoloration on tooth surface:

  • Use food, colored drinks: chocolate, tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, curry, tomato sauce … erode tooth enamel, affecting the natural beauty of the teeth.
  • Tobacco: Cigarette resin is combined with a thin film on teeth to make teeth tarnish. Therefore, long-term smokers must live with an aesthetic problem.
  • Poor dental hygiene: Brushing your teeth and using dental floss incorrectly will create conditions for leftovers and bacteria to attach to tooth enamel, making teeth darker.
  • Mouthwash: Chlorhexidine mouthwashes, Hexetidine can cause stained teeth if used for a long time.

 (2) Deep discoloration inside tooth structure:

  • Due to age: Over time, the outer layer of enamel is worn out, contacting more and more types of food – pigments with pigmented color make the color of teeth more serious.
  • Genetic: Tooth color can be inherited in thick or thin enamel. If this layer of enamel becomes thinner, the golden dentin becomes more visible inside. If most members of your family have dull teeth, your risk of having teeth is also very high.
  • Tetracycline antibiotic infection: The active ingredients in Tetracycline antibiotic diffuse into newly formed calcium tissue, causing the salt of the color element to penetrate the dentin, causing the color of the teeth. If the mother takes this medication while pregnant or children take 7-8 years of age, the teeth may become discolored on the entire jaw or in only one area. Tetracycline color infection can be divided into 4 levels: yellow, brown, gray, purple.
  • Excessive fluoride: Using a high fluoride water source, an overdose of fluoride toothpaste or oral fluoride supplementation can discolor the tooth structure.

In which cases I shouldn’t have teeth whitening?

Most people can bleach teeth, except in some cases:

  • Pregnant women and nursing mothers, because the active ingredients in tooth bleaching affect the health of young children later.
  • Children under the age of 16, due to bleaching agents can cause marrow irritation, teeth become more sensitive.
  • People are suffering from periodontal disease, tooth decay, worn neck, open anklet.
  • People show signs of allergy to bleach.

How can I whiten my teeth at home?

At-Home Bleaching: 

The doctor will take an impression of your teeth and make the custom-made tray fit properly to the size of each person’s teeth. This type of tray is made of transparent plastic, safe and does not cause damage to the gums. It works to keep bleach, preventing saliva from spilling into the bleaching process. The dentist will provide whitening substances with a concentration of 10 – 15% and give detailed instructions on how to use it and handle possible situations.


  • Helps arrange your time more appropriately (wear the tray 2 – 3 hours at any time)
  • Lower cost


  • Does not achieve bleaching effect in all cases
  • Only applied to mild cases of color contamination such as discoloration due to external effects, stained teeth due to age, etc.

How often can I whiten my teeth?

It depends on you. People who expose their teeth to a lot of foods and beverages that cause staining such as coffee, tea, chocolate, may see the whiteness start to fade in several months. If you can stay away from staining foods, the whitening outcome could last for 1 year or longer before another whitening treatment.

How is professional teeth whitening like?

In-Office Bleaching (chairside bleaching): 

Professional teeth whitening procedure includes 3 steps: 

  1. Scraping, 
  2. Polishing, and 
  3. Whitening 

The dentist applies either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums and lips, and apply antiperspirant to make customers feel comfortable. then the dentist combines 35-37% bleach and strong intensity light to activate the bleach. 

The outstanding feature of this method is the 

  • Rapid execution
  • Works even in the case of heavy, dark yellow, tinted by Tetracycline, Fluorosis
  • Bleached upper and lower jaw at the same time, which makes the teeth colors of both jaws look natural and equally white.

What to do after bleaching teeth?

  • Avoiding foods that stain your teeth such as berries, tomato, and tomato sauces, popsicles, hard candy
  • If you do choose to consume drinks such as coffee, black tea, cola drinks that stain, consider using a straw so that the liquid bypasses your front teeth
  • Brush your teeth or rinse your mouth right after consuming stain-causing drinks or foods
  • Follow good oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss at least once daily to remove plaque
  • Use a whitening toothpaste (once or twice a week only) to remove surface stains and prevent yellowing

Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?

  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Irritated gums
  • Undesirable results

Foods That Whiten Teeth Naturally

  • Strawberries and apples: contain a high concentration of malic acid, which increases saliva, cleans your teeth and helps remove stains 
  • Broccoli: contains iron which provides a wall of protection for your teeth against the enamel-degrading acid that’s produced by bacteria and for that reason, helps prevent stains and cavities
  • Celery, carrots, oranges, and pineapples: healthy fruits, tart fruits, and veggies act like natural stain removers by increasing saliva production, which serves as the mouth’s self-cleaning agent
  • Baking soda: has been proved by scientific evidence to be an effective whitening home remedy
  • Yogurt, milk, and cheese: dairy products contain lactic acid, which may help protect teeth against decay

Why should we drink coffee through a straw?

As much as we love coffee, it causes terrible discoloration for the teeth. 

Then how do you enjoy coffee and avoid stains? Two cups a day would be the recommended amount. Also when drinking coffee, straw should be used to minimize the contact between liquid with front teeth.

Simple Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth at Home

  1. Coconut oil Pulling

There are three ways to do this:

  • Put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it between your teeth for five to 20 minutes
  • Add a few drops to your toothbrush and brush it on 
  • Another oral care option is to apply coconut oil to a corner of a clean washcloth and rub it on the teeth 
  1. Baking Soda and lemon juice

Put a pinch of baking soda on your toothbrush, and add a few drops of lemon juice over it to get a set of shining teeth. Do not use this whitening method more frequently than once a week, or put too much lemon juice in because you would feel like your teeth are falling out of jaws.

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide

Dip a cotton swab into the peroxide, and gently rub in your teeth. However, this whitening technique isn’t recommended for frequent use, only 1-2 times a week so that it can’t harm your enamel.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Dilute half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Rinse your mouth with this solution every morning before brushing your teeth.