Teeth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete colour change, but it may lighten the existing shade.
There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin colour vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant-white teeth, and our teeth can also become more discoloured as we get older. Your teeth can also be stained on the surface by food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant. Smoking can also stain teeth.
While teeth whitening is considered safe, you may experience some side effects from treatments: Teeth sensitivity. Your teeth may become more sensitive following teeth whitening. You may experience this on your first or second treatment, and it may diminish with time.
Professional bleaching is the most usual method of tooth whitening. Our dental team will be able to tell you if you are suitable for the treatment, which is called laser whitening or ‘power whitening’. During this procedure a rubber dam is put over your teeth to protect the gums, and a bleaching product is painted onto your teeth. Then a light or laser is shone on the teeth to activate the chemical. The light speeds up the reaction of the whitening product and the colour change can be achieved more quickly. Laser whitening is said to make teeth up to five or six shades lighter. The whole procedure usually takes about one hour.
Sensitivity from tooth whitening is always transient. That means if there is any sensitivity caused by the whitening, it goes away within one to two days after the treatment, and the patient returns to the state of sensitivity he or she had prior to starting the whitening process.
Typically you can expect whitening to last from six months to two years, although some studies report results lasting up to ten years.
You can help to keep your teeth white by cutting down on the amount of food and drinks you have that can stain teeth. Don’t forget, stopping smoking can also help prevent discolouration and staining.
We recommend the following tips to take care of your teeth: