Teeth Straightening
Teeth Whitening
Updated on November 20, 2023
6 min read

Can You Whiten Your Teeth in One Day?

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Quick Teeth Whitening

Americans spend over 1 billion dollars on whitening teeth each year. Over 80% of Americans aged 18 to 49 want whiter teeth.1 There are several safe and efficient options for teeth whitening treatments. Professional whitening treatment from your dentist will give you the fastest, safest results in one or two sessions.

top view of wooden tooth brushes and comb

However, it will cost around $400 to $1,500 per treatment session. The options for whitening teeth at home include over-the-counter whitening products and DIY remedies. 

Professional Teeth Whitening Options

The best, safest, and most effective way to whiten your teeth in one day is with professional teeth whitening treatment. While these treatments are effective and produce instant results, they are expensive.

The price can range between $400 to $1,500 depending on a few factors, like:

  • The type of teeth whitening treatment
  • The severity of discoloration
  • Dental fees
  • Location 
  • Additional visits

However, you only need to undergo professional whitening every six months to a year. Some options include:

Zoom! Chairside

Zoom! Chairside whitens your teeth safely and effectively (up to 90% of their maximum brightness). The whitening procedure is quick, whitening your teeth in over an hour. This office whitening treatment is also FDA-approved and takes one hour to complete. 

Opalescence Boost

Opalescence Boost is a chemically activated whitening product. This means it doesn’t require LED teeth whitening lights which may be uncomfortable. 

It’s also relatively quick. The activated gel will typically brighten your teeth within one hour.

KöR Whitening 

This tooth-whitening method uses a refrigerated, high-potency gel. This gel is combined with a scientifically designed application system to deliver visibly whiter teeth after just one use. KöR also claims to provide less tooth sensitivity than leading brands like Zoom.

Sapphire Teeth Whitening

A quick, easy, and pain-free experience that takes about 15 minutes to set up. The entire whitening process only takes an hour. 

Sapphire teeth whitening treatment contains 25% hydrogen peroxide. It’s also a chemically activated procedure that doesn’t require lasers or lamps.

5 Ways to Whiten Teeth Quickly at Home

Various teeth-whitening products can remove stains. Read our review of the 9 Best Teeth Whitening Products.

If you want to change the appearance of your teeth quickly, here are some popular options:

1. LED Teeth Whitening Kits

At-home whitening kits are affordable, easy to use, and produce great results in less than two weeks. These kits include a mouthpiece with LED lights and a whitening gel. 

Be sure to choose one with a hydrogen or carbamide peroxide-based serum. If your teeth are prone to sensitivity, use a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide (5 percent hydrogen peroxide or 20 percent carbamide peroxide).

If you do not experience sensitivity or want faster results, use a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. You can use up to 15 percent hydrogen peroxide or 45 percent carbamide peroxide.

2. Teeth Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are another affordable and effective at-home whitening treatment. If used correctly, they are safe and produce minimal side effects.9,10,11 

Whitestrips are made from a thin, flexible plastic coated with a tooth-bleaching agent. They are less expensive than LED whitening kits.

However, we recommend LED kits because whitening strips are difficult to place on your teeth. They cannot cover the tight spaces between your teeth. This can result in uneven whitening results.

3. Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste with an ADA Seal of Acceptance can help remove extrinsic (surface) stains from your teeth.14 However, they don’t remove intrinsic stains and are much less effective than: 

  • LED kits
  • Whitening strips
  • In-office treatment 

Whitening toothpastes are best used in combination with the above teeth whitening methods. This can help prevent new stains on your teeth.

4. Whitening Mouthwashes

Whitening mouthwashes containing hydrogen peroxide can also help remove or prevent extrinsic stains. Like whitening toothpastes, they’re less effective than other teeth whitening methods.14,15 

5. DIY Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda-based paste is an effective and safe teeth-whitening method. Many clinical studies have shown that baking soda pastes are more effective in stain removal than some highly abrasive, non–baking soda whitening mixtures.4

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water 
  2. Apply it to your teeth with a toothbrush
  3. Leave it on for 2 to 3 minutes
  4. Rinse your mouth thoroughly

Once this is done, your teeth should look brighter. Keep in mind that baking soda can only remove superficial stains (extrinsic). Deeper stains (intrinsic) typically require professional teeth whitening. 

Other DIY Teeth Whitening Methods

The majority of DIY whitening home remedies lack any scientific backing. Most of the “evidence” is anecdotal, meaning someone has shared their personal experience. 

This is an opinion, which is not the same as scientific evidence. DIY home whitening remedies that do not have any scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness include:

Talk to your dentist about these DIY whitening methods before trying them. In some cases, like with apple cider vinegar, they can harm your teeth.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Tooth discoloration refers to your teeth staining or darkening. It can be caused by various factors such as tooth decay, aging, trauma, etc.

Here are some common types of tooth discoloration and their causes:

Extrinsic Stains

Extrinsic stains are on the surface of your tooth. They are caused by substances coming in contact with your teeth. Often, plaque will build up on your teeth, giving these substances a sticky surface to stick to.

The most common causes of extrinsic stains are from certain foods and drinks, including:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Soda
  • Tomato sauces
  • Curries
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Potatoes
  • Beets 
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco

This is not a complete list. Extrinsic stains are easier to remove than intrinsic stains. They can be removed via mechanical whitening (i.e., brushing and cleaning your teeth) or chemical whitening.

Intrinsic Stains

Intrinsic staining happens inside the tooth. It can be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Mouth trauma
  • Over-fluoridation
  • Some medical conditions
  • Specific medical treatments, such as chemotherapy

Intrinsic staining is harder to get rid of. Chemical whitening is the only way to get rid of this discoloration. 

Worn Tooth Enamel

As you age, your teeth's outer layer of enamel wears down. This exposes the second layer of your teeth, called dentin. Dentin has a yellowish tint and gives your teeth a discolored appearance. 

Unfortunately, dentin cannot be whitened. If the cause of your discolored teeth is worn enamel, neither mechanical nor chemical whitening will help. You’ll need to explore other cosmetic treatments, such as veneers


Professional in-office whitening treatment is the only way to see significant results in one day. However, at-home whitening treatments are available and give you similar results.

It will take up to two weeks to see significant results. Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes are best used as a preventative treatment once you have achieved your desired whitening results.

DIY treatments such as charcoal, acidic fruits, vinegar, fruit peels, and coconut oil have no scientific research behind them and aren't recommended. Baking soda may have whitening effects but is less effective than hydrogen or carbamide peroxide.

Last updated on November 20, 2023
13 Sources Cited
Last updated on November 20, 2023
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Takesh et al. “Effects of a Novel Whitening Formulation on Dental Enamel.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2017. 
  2. Zekonis et al. “Clinical Evaluation of in-Office and at-Home Bleaching Treatments.” Operative Dentistry, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2003.
  3. Basting, et al. “Clinical Comparative Study of the Effectiveness of and Tooth Sensitivity to 10% and 20% Carbamide Peroxide Home-Use and 35% and 38% Hydrogen Peroxide In-Office Bleaching Materials Containing Desensitizing Agents.” Operative Dentistry, Allen Press, 2012.
  4. Féliz-Matos, et al. “Dental Bleaching Techniques; Hydrogen-Carbamide Peroxides and Light Sources for Activation, an Update. Mini Review Article.” The Open Dentistry Journal, Bentham Open, 2015.
  5. Carey C. “Tooth whitening: what we now know.” J Evid Based Dent Pract, 2014.
  6. Luque-Martinez et al. “Comparison of efficacy of tray-delivered carbamide and hydrogen peroxide for at-home bleaching: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Clinical Oral Investigations, 2016.
  7. Li, Y. “Stain Removal and Whitening by Baking Soda Dentifrice: A Review of Literature.” The Journal of the American Dental Association, Elsevier, 2017.
  8. Ghassemi et al. “Effectiveness of a New Dentifrice with Baking Soda and Peroxide in Removing Extrinsic Stain and Whitening Teeth.” Europe PMC, The Journal of Clinical Dentistry, 2012.
  9. Gerlach, R., and Sagel P. “Vital Bleaching with a Thin Peroxide Gel: The Safety and Efficacy of a Professional-Strength Hydrogen Peroxide Whitening Strip.” The Journal of the American Dental Association, Elsevier,  2014. 
  10. Oliveira et al. “Safety and Efficacy of a High-Adhesion Whitening Strip under Extended Wear Regimen.” Journal of Dentistry, Elsevier, 2012.
  11. Müller-Heupt et al. “Effectiveness and Safety of Over-the-Counter Tooth-Whitening Agents Compared to Hydrogen Peroxide In Vitro.” Int J Mol Sci, 2023.
  12. Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC. “Whitening” Oral Health Topics, American Dental Association, 2020.
  13. Karadas, M., and Hatipoglu, O. “Efficacy of Mouthwashes Containing Hydrogen Peroxide on Tooth Whitening.” The Scientific World Journal, Hindawi, 2015.
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