Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface or damaging it.
As we get older our teeth get darker. This is partly due to our getting older, but it is also caused by the foods we eat and drink, and by other habits such as smoking. Tea, coffee, blackcurrant juice, red wine and other foods that have strong colours can have an effect on the overall colour of our teeth.
The most common type of whitening is called home whitening. You will have trays made specially to fit into your mouth like gum-shields. The whitening gel is then put in the trays and you will be given a routine to follow at home. The ‘active ingredient’ in the whitening product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel and dentine of the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter. The total length of the home bleaching treatment can vary depending on how discoloured your teeth are and the shade you want to get to. It can usually be finished within two to four weeks. The effects of whitening are thought to last up to two years.