Why might I whiten my teeth?

Just as hair and skin colour vary, so does the colour of our teeth. Let’s face it, there are very few people who have naturally brilliant-white teeth, and it’s natural for our teeth to become discoloured with age. Food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant can internally stain our teeth, as can smoking and calculus (tartar). Some people may experience staining under the surface of the tooth, which can be caused by certain antibiotics or by tiny cracks in the teeth which stain.

What are my options for teeth whitening?

Treatment options vary clinic by clinic. Speak to a member of the clinic team to discuss in-clinic treatments.

Home whitening involves wearing a made-to-measure whitening device that will fit over your teeth. Filled with whitening gel, it’s worn for 2-4 hours or overnight for anything from 5 days to a month. It can easily be topped up by further applications of the gel in the future. To get the best results you’ll need to follow the instructions given by your dentist.

Am I suitable for the treatment and what does it cost?

Your dentist will need to assess your teeth to make sure that you are suitable for the treatment (and over 16 years old). Teeth whitening is available from £199.

How long will my teeth stay whiter?

The effects of tooth whitening is entirely dependent on your lifestyle and own tooth characteristics, however, two years is the average. The effect is less likely to last as long if you smoke, or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth. Ask your dental team for guidance before you start your treatment.

How safe is the treatment and is there anything else I should know?

We follow recognised tooth whitening procedures that have been proven to be safe and do not harm the teeth or enamel. The gums, though, do need protection and this is provided by your whitening device, which only allows the gel to be in contact with your teeth and not the gums. Sometimes some temporary sensitivity is felt during and after treatment, but rarely lasts beyond 24 hours – this is the whitening gel inside the tooth still finishing off its whitening reaction and lightening the teeth. Sensitivity symptoms are easily controlled by filling your whitening device with desensitising toothpaste for 5-10 minutes.

As tooth whitening only lightens natural living teeth, be aware that any existing restorations may look darker than the natural teeth that have been lightened with tooth whitening.

For this reason, as part of an overall treatment plan, it’s normal to undertake tooth whitening first to ensure as close a possible match can be achieved.

For more information or to discuss tooth whitening with your dentist, please speak to our team to make an appointment.