Whiter teeth is universally valued by both men and women. Unfortunately, we are not naturally born with a perfect white smile. The truth is, most of us were born with ivory colored teeth that get more yellow and darker as we age. Smoking, medicines or medical conditions, lifestyle, colored food and drinks also contribute to the staining and discoloration of our teeth.

Teeth Whitening vs Teeth Bleaching
1. Teeth Whitening 
The term “whitening” refers to the restoration of the teeth’s natural color by removing dirt and stains (extrinsic stains) from the surface of the teeth.  In this regard, anything used to clean teeth can be called a whitener. Here are some examples:
Whitening toothpastes and mouthwash – removes stains from the surface of the teeth but cannot change the underlying color of the dentine.
Over the Counter Whitening Kits – contains a weak solution of a bleaching agent that is unlikely to have much effect on your teeth color.
Oral Prophylaxis – visiting your dentist for a cleaning removes the extrinsic stains from your teeth with scaling and polishing. It also keeps your teeth and gums healthy.
2. Bleaching
Professional Teeth Whitening is a tooth bleaching process that uses high concentrations of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to penetrate the enamel and change the color of the dentine underneath. The entire teeth whitening process is professionally supervised by a highly trained dentist.
There are two options to professionally whiten your teeth. Both options use peroxide based bleaching agents (carbamide or hydrogen peroxides).
What is Professional Teeth Whitening? 
Professional Teeth Whitening is a tooth bleaching process that uses high concentrations of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to penetrate the enamel and change the color of the dentine underneath. The entire teeth whitening process is professionally supervised by a highly trained dentist.
There are two options to professionally whiten your teeth. Both options use peroxide based bleaching agents (carbamide or hydrogen peroxides).
1. In-Office Whitening
In-office whitening involves the careful and controlled application of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel (15% to 43% peroxide) on your teeth at 15-20 minute intervals. The peroxide is activated using a special light that intensifies and speeds up the whitening process. The entire process can last up to 2 hours.
 Having your teeth whitened by a dentist at the clinic ensures that the entire procedure will be safely and correctly performed.
 Before the procedure, the dentist ensures that your oral tissues will be adequately protected during the entire whitening process. A special cheek retractor is used to open your mouth and protect your lips. A special gingival barrier will also be cured onto your gums to protect it from the peroxide solution and from the light. During the entire process, a high vacuum suction will be used to reduce accidental ingestion of the whitening solution.

In-office whitening can produce dramatic results. Whitening can be achieved faster and results can be seen immediately after the appointment. Results vary from person to person. Usually, teeth will be 2 to 8 shades lighter after the procedure.
 Patients with stubborn staining may be advised to return for one or more additional bleaching sessions or may be asked to continue with a take-home whitening system.
2. Take Home Whitening
As the name suggest, you can have your whitening at home. Professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits include a low concentration peroxide based solution (3% to 20% peroxide) and a customized bleaching tray made by your dentist.
 Unlike in-office whitening, take home teeth whitening does not produce instant results. The gel is applied to the teeth using custom-made bleaching trays that you must wear everyday for hours. Whitening is achieved over time.
Take home teeth whitening kits are designed to be safe for you to use on your own. Because of the low concentration of peroxide, the solution can safely remain longer on your teeth. Having custom-made bleaching trays also ensure that the solution fits your teeth perfectly. This avoids leakage and contact with your gums or other tissues in your mouth.