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Different teeth whitening methods




Bleaching at home




>> Read more about Brilliant Smile home bleaching




Using trays

Teeth whitening at home using bleaching trays will take longer than an in-office treatment, but will generally provide good results in the end. Home whitening kits can be available in stores, by mail order or online. Another option is to get customized bleaching trays from the dental clinic. The bleaching treatment itself is carried out at home, either at night or daytime. The result of a full treatment is normally similar to in-office treatments, but takes much longer and is less convenient.


Products from the Internet

When it comes to cheap regimes that you can order online you should be extra careful. It is not unusual that the preparations are directly harmful to your teeth.

Home whitening treatments generally come with slight or sometimes severe side effects. These may consist of gum damage or sensitivity to the extent that the treatment must be discontinued. Good advice is to always consult a dentist before initiating treatment, and make sure you use the best products possible.


Whitening toothpaste

A simple method for teeth whitening at home is toothpaste. Please keep in mind that toothpaste can never bleach inside the tooth enamel, only remove what is on the surface. Whitening toothpastes should contain active ingredients to safely remove surface stains without harmful abrasives.

Most commonly, whitening toothpastes contain abrasives that mechanically grind off surface stains. It is much cheaper to manufacture toothpaste with high abrasion instead of using effective active ingredients. Abrasive toothpastes should only be used temporarily, if ever, but most definitely not daily as that will harm the enamel.

Toothpastes containing oxidizing agents (hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, calcium peroxide etc.) are generally not sold in the EU. In fact, oxidizing agents is not optimal for toothpastes and has very little effect due to the short exposure time. Carbamide peroxide for example, requires more than 20 minutes of exposure before it is even activated. We normally brush our teeth for 1-2 minutes which is not enough for any oxidizing agent to have relevant effect.

Whitening toothpastes containing enzymes, pyrophosphates, zinc citrate or other active ingredients that prevents discoloration can be very effective, both by removing plaque and stains and by preventing new discolorations from forming on the tooth surface.


Whitening strips

Whitening strips are strips coated with a mild oxidizing whitening gel. Unfortunately, the quality vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and is often reflected in the price. A majority of the strips available on the market show very poor results, and most brands are not pH neutral and will therefore damage the enamel. Sometimes the strips only cover parts of the visible teeth surface and they will not remove the stains from the teeth. In conclusion, whitening strips can possibly lead to uneven and patchy results.




In-office bleaching




>> Read more about Brilliant Smile in-office bleaching





Plasma light

For in-office treatments, plasma light can be used to activate the whitening gel with very good results. Brilliant Smile in-office teeth whitening treatments is performed with balanced plasma light (LED) that activates the hydrogen peroxide gel without giving off any heat. Plasma light is very effective and is also completely free from carcinogenic UV-light and harmful wavelengths and thus, all soft tissue does not need to be covered (as opposed to UV bleaching). As a result, the plasma light treatment is not only safer, but also simpler, faster,  more cost-efficient and more convenient than other alternatives.



Laser can effectively activate the whitening gel and is widely used for in-office teeth whitening. Laser treatments are normally safe, but increased sensitivity is however very common and the side effects can last for several days after treatment. This is because the laser heats up the tooth, and in rare cases this may actually cause permanent damage to the dental nerve.



UV light

UV light bleaching has been available in the market for a long time, and like plasma and laser it is highly effective. UV rays are however carcinogenic, which requires a more tedious and time-consuming preparation before bleaching can be initiated. One must cover all soft tissue altogether, both inside and around the mouth, to avoid burns and protect against the harmful UV rays.


Air-flow and polishing

Air-flow or teeth polishing treatments are not a bleaching methods per se, as this only removes surface stains mechanically.

NOTE! You should only have your teeth polished maximum twice yearly, as excessive polishing can damage the enamel.

Some air-flow methods have shown to have a very strong effect, unfortunately resulting in occurrence of temporary enamel roughness. A rugged surface makes it easier for new stains to stick, which is why we only recommend air-flow using bicarbonate based powder as this won’t damage the enamel.


Deep bleaching

This is a combination bleaching method that originated in the United States.

The treatment begins with a 14 days of home whitening, where the patient is sleeps with extra thick custom made bleaching strips.The treatment is then completed with an in-office bleaching session either with or without light activation. Deep bleaching is primarily intended for severely discolored teeth.






New methods


Ozone bleaching

Currently there is ongoing research for the possibility to do bleaching using ozone. Preliminary in-vitro results have shown extremely fast whitening effect. Ozone is a highly toxic gas and is very difficult to stabilize. Therefore, it is very doubtful whether this method can reach the market as a finished product.


Ultrasonic bleaching

Activation of the tooth bleaching gel using ultrasound has been shown to give good results. The kinetic energy of the ultrasound has provided a more rapid decomposition of the staining molecules.

Unfortunately, it has been difficult to find a tooth whitening gel stable enough, explaining why the concept hasn’t become big in the world market yet.


Chlorine dioxide bleaching

Teeth whitening with active chlorine dioxide have been on the European market for over a decade. Chlorine dioxide is an oxidizing gas which like hydrogen peroxide breaks down the discoloration without damaging the enamel structure. The method has been researched and stydied in the US since the 1970’s. Active chlorine dioxide is used today primarily as a sanitizing agent for fresh food, water, industrial bleaching as well as an active ingredient in oral care products such as toothpaste and mouthwash. A number of completed medical studies have demonstrated very positive properties of chlorine dioxide. The main advantage is that it kill all bacteria (including multidrug-resistant), viruses, spores and fungi in less than a minute.

In the Swedish teeth whitening market, chlorine dioxide has not boomed as it does not have any specific advantages in comparison to hydrogen peroxide. The substance may still have increased relevance as it has proved to be both stable at room temperature and have very good properties for oral health.

Note! Chlorine dioxide ClO2 is a gas and is not to be confused with Chlorine (trademark), referred to as bleach. Calcium hypochlorite and sodium hypochlorite is used for water sanitation in swimming pools, and should not be confused with chlorine dioxide. Chlorine  and chlorites etc. should not be used for teeth whitening as these substances are proven to harm the tooth enamel structure.




In conclusion, it can be stated that there are several different methods for teeth whitening and all methods are not suitable for all types of teeth. Plasma, laser, UV, ultrasonic and home bleaching using a customized tray are varied approaches which ultimately give good results. Plasma and ultrasonic bleaching are the safest and most convenient methods, but as ultrasonic bleaching is not a fully developed concept, plasma light bleaching is the best possible alternative.