What is tooth whitening?Tooth whitening is a very effective way of lightening the natural color of your teeth withoutdamaging the tooth’s surface. Usually the original shade of the tooth is whitened to a lighter color,rather than being turned completely white.Why would you need your teeth whitened?There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; andjust as our hair and skin color vary, so does that of teeth. Very few people have perfectly-whiteteeth.Despite brushing your teeth, they will get darker. This is caused by the foods we eat and what wedrink. Tea, coffee, red wine and other foods that have strong colors can have an effect on the overallcolor of our teeth. Other habits such as smoking can have a strong effect as well.How can you find out if your teeth are suitable for whitening? The safest way to work out if your teeth are suitable for whitening is to see us first. We are trained and qualified to make an accurate assessment of your teeth and gums.What does tooth whitening involve?Professional bleaching is the most usual method of tooth whitening. We will assess first to seewhether tooth whitening is possible and then consult with you about the different options we havefor tooth whitening and which will be the most suitable for you.One common option is called ‘chair-side whitening’. First we will clean the surface of the teeth, puta rubber shield or a gel on your gums to protect them. Then we will apply the whitening product toyour teeth.The ‘active ingredient’ in the whitening product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamideperoxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel and dentine of theteeth and the tooth color is made lighter.How long does chair-side whitening take?If you are a candidate for chair side whitening, it normally takes between one and two hours,Though it really depends on how white and shiny you want your teeth to be.How long will your teeth stay whiter?The effects of whitening are thought to last up to three years. However, this will vary from person toperson. The effect is less likely to last as long if you smoke, or eat or drink products that can stainyour teeth.What are the side effects?Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Othersmay have discomfort in the gums, a sore throat or white patches on the gum line. These symptomsare temporary and should disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing.
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