What is tooth whitening and why would I need my teeth whitening?
Tooth whitening can be a highly 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.
Very few people have brilliant white teeth and our teeth can become more discoloured as we get older. Your teeth can also be stained on the surface through food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant. Another factor which can stain the teeth is smoking. Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove these stains and discoloration.
What does tooth whitening involve?
Professional bleaching is the most common form of tooth whitening. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you are suitable for the treatment.
Firstly the dentist will take an alginate impression of your teeth which will be sent off to a lab to make a whitening tray which is specific to your individual mouth. This tray fits in your mouth like a retainer. Once this tray is returned approximately 10 working days later you will have a second appointment to collect the trays and given instructions on how to use the bleach.
Whitening is unlikely to cause serious side effects, although some people's teeth may become more sensitive. You may get mild gum irritation as well. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing.
How long will my teeth stay white?
Results vary from person to person. The effect is less likely to last as long if you smoke, or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth. This treatment does not give a permanent effect and may need a 'top up' after a certain period of time to improve the shade again.