Tooth whitening is a simple and safe way to give you a brighter smile. Tooth colour can vary like hair and skin colour even when teeth are quite healthy. As we get older our teeth naturally become darker. Teeth sometimes become darker when the ‘nerve’ has died and the tooth has had to be root filled.
Whitening won’t remove the surface of your teeth or change the tooth shape. It is often a better option than alternatives such as veneers because it doesn’t involve any preparation (drilling) of your teeth.
Based on our knowledge of your oral health, we will advise if tooth whitening is appropriate for you and develop a treatment plan that gives you the desired result.
The most common type of whitening is called ‘home whitening’. We will take impressions of your teeth so that whitening trays (like gumshields) can be made. Bleaching gel – either hydrogen peroxide or carbamine peroxide is placed in the trays which are then placed over your teeth and left in the mouth for the amount of time we recommend. Whitening of the teeth usually takes between 2 to 4 weeks but can take longer especially in older patients or patients with very dark teeth.
Some people find their teeth become a little sensitive to cold during or after treatment. This usually fades away and can often be helped by using special sensitive toothpaste both prior, during and after treatment and desensitizing gel, we will recommend the best products for you to use throughout.
The effects of whitening are thought to last up to three years however lifestyle can affect how long your teeth will stay lighter. If you smoke or eat and drink products that can stain your teeth they can slip back to a darker colour more quickly. Your whitening trays can be used to ‘top up’ occasionally to ensure your teeth remain the colour you desire.
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