Glossary of Terms

A glossary of teeth whitening terminology.

Glossary of Terms

Updated on 20th April, 2022

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a general term that refers to any process that whitens the teeth. Most of the time, the process involves the use of a whitening agent such as bleach or some other chemical. This agent gets rid of stains or discoloration from the surface of the tooth and makes the teeth look whiter.

LED Teeth Whitening

LED teeth whitening is a more specific process that uses light to enhance the whitening power of the whitening agent. Hydrogen peroxide is the most popular chemical used in the LED teeth whitening procedures.

Non-Peroxide Whitening Gel

Although hydrogen peroxide is a very effective, and by far the most common chemical for whitening teeth, there are some people who have adverse side effects from exposure to this substance. For these individuals, the non-peroxide whitening gel is widely available. The active ingredient in this type of whitening gel is usually either sodium bicarbonate or sodium perborate.

LED Teeth Whitening Lights

These are the lights that are used in the LED teeth whitening process to activate the whitening power of the bleaching agent. LED teeth whitening lights work hand in hand with a mouth tray, which contains the whitening gel that the lights activate.

Teeth Whitening Refill Kits

Teeth whitening refill kits is accessory to teeth whitening kit or teeth whitening process. It’s consumable gel products that used with teeth whitening lights.

Teeth Whitening Trays

These are trays that fit over your teeth and contain the bleaching agent or whitening gel that you will use to have a brighter smile. There are standard teeth whitening trays that are supposed to fit everyone. However, since each person’s set of teeth is unique, it is better to use a custom teeth whitening tray that is made from your own dental impression.

Teeth Whitening Powder

Teeth whitening powder is practically toothpaste in powder form. It is used in basically the same way, which is to apply it onto a toothbrush and use it to clean your teeth.

Teeth Whitening Strips

These are among the most convenient teeth whitening products because you can use it anywhere and at any time. Teeth whitening strips are very thin and can easily be applied over the teeth. They contain hydrogen peroxide or another bleaching agent that can whiten the teeth by a couple of shades in a very short time.

U-Shaped 360° Mouthpiece Toothbrush

This is a very recent invention that is being hailed for its efficiency in cleaning all the teeth all at the same time. Shaped like a U, a mouthpiece electric toothbrush is positioned in the mouth and upon turning it on, will clean all your teeth simultaneously.

Tooth Sensitivity

This is a very common dental problem that can be experienced by anyone. Also called dentin hypersensitivity, it is manifested by discomfort and pain in the teeth due to certain factors. Sometimes it is temporary and goes away on its own, and sometimes it can be chronic. Tooth sensitivity may affect all of a person’s teeth or just one or a few.

Bamboo Toothbrushes

With the intensifying advocacies for environmental protection, bamboo toothbrushes are now being seen as the better replacement for traditional plastic toothbrushes. They are organic, recyclable and eco-friendly alternatives that are quickly growing in popularity.

Hydrogen Peroxide (HP)

Hydrogen peroxide is a liquid hydrogen and oxygen compound that is clear, colorless and odorless. It is a common household substance that is commonly used to treat minor cuts and wounds. It is also the most commonly used active ingredient in bleaching gels for the purpose of whitening teeth.

Related products: HP teeth whitening gels

Carbamide Peroxide (CP)

This substance is an oxidizer that comes from the dissolution and crystallization of urea from hydrogen peroxide. Upon contact with water, it releases the hydrogen peroxide, which then causes the whitening of the teeth upon contact.

Related products: CP teeth whitening gels

Phthalimido Peroxy Caproic Acid (PAP)

Phthalimido-Peroxy-Caproic Acid, is a new, non-invasive teeth whitening technology, which causes minimal damage to enamel health. PAP contains a high potential of oxidation which dissolves stains that have built up on the enamel surface, behind the enamel, and passes through to the dentine layer, neutralizing even deeper stains.

Related products: PAP teeth whitening gels


Enamel is the outermost covering of the teeth. It provides excellent protection for the inner parts of the teeth, such as the dentin and the pulp, because enamel is actually the hardest substance that the body produces. It is also your teeth’s first line of defense against cavities, sensitivity and many kinds of oral infection.


This is a mineral that keeps teeth enamel strong and protected against decay and many other dental problems. There are many ways to make sure your teeth have enough fluoride, such as by eating the right food and using a toothbrush with adequate fluoride content. During dental procedures, a dentist may also apply fluoride directly onto the surface of the teeth.

Mouth Guard

A mouth guard is an instrument that is placed inside the mouth and fits over the teeth to give protection against strong impact, or other dental injuries.

Enamel Thinning

As the enamel layer of the teeth starts wearing down and thinning itself due to chewing, the yellow dentin is exposed making the teeth look yellower. Dentin is a deep, yellow to brown, tinged material inside our teeth under the enamel. It is the primary cause for teeth appearing yellow. Color changes occur when the enamel starts scraping off and more of the dentin reveals itself.

PAP+ Teeth Whitening Formula

PAP+ formula mouthwash is developed by Hismile company. The improvement is mainly about new secondary ingredients and how the PAP works. It is claimed by Hismile that the whitening time can be shortened to 10 minutes while it took 6 days of whitening with other products before.


Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, usually caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, it can become a more serious infection known as periodontitis.

Gingivitis and periodontitis are major causes of tooth loss in adults, according to the American Dental Association.

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