Teeth whitening is a process that many people use to help brighten up their teeth. Often stains from food, tobacco, and other beverages will dull their teeth but you can reverse this with the right tooth whitening product. Of course, there are other factors that can influence the colour of the teeth such as age, drugs, and genetic factors.
The active ingredient that actually helps to whiten teeth is carbamide peroxide. It bleaches the enamel that sits on the tooth and also works as an oxidizing agent to make sure bacteria is kept at bay. Therefore, it can be helpful for the health of your teeth as well.
Generally speaking, tooth whitening generally falls into two distinct categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic is when it is you have to remove the discolouration from the surface of the tooth and intrinsic involves actually changing the tooth colour such as bleaching it.
Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is a way to extrinsically make sure that you remove all of the biofilm that tends to get stuck to the teeth. Chemical bleaching on the other hand will break through eh surface of the teeth and actually white the enamel which is why intrinsic whitening often has the longest effect on your teeth.
Bleaching can usually be done with a professional teeth whitening product or can also be done in the dentist office. There are now many over the counter products that allow you to whiten your own teeth if you just need some light discolouration fixed. Usually professional mixes in the dentist office are much stronger, but if you simply need to lighten up your teeth a bit an OTC product should be enough to help you get the yellow off so that you can smile confidently again.