Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a process by which the discolourations or stains on teeth are chemically lightened. Your dentist will use a shade guide to identify your tooth colour. They will also use this shade guide to estimate how many shades whiter you want your teeth.

There are two main types of whitening ingredients: hydrogen peroxide for strong, fast whitening, and carbamide peroxide for gentle, slower whitening. Generally the stronger the ingredients the more effective the whitening but the most powerful products can only be administered by dentists to ensure patient safety.

When a whitening product is applied to the teeth it breaks down into water and oxygen ions. The oxygen ions enter the enamel and attack the long stain molecules to effectively break them down to be short and colourless. These short and colourless molecules are then naturally removed from the tooth by saliva. The intensity of whitening is related to the number of oxygen ions available and the length of time they are on the tooth.

There are various forms of tooth discolouration that can be whitened including:
• Food
• Beverages
• Smoking
• Ageing
• Disease
• Medical treatment
• Poor oral hygiene
• Genetic conditions
• Fluorosis
• Some medications
• Some illnesses

A good whitening maintenance plan helps prevent the re-occurring build-up of stain molecules, ensuring your teeth are always looking their best. Please telephone 0117 924 6070 to arrange a consultation if you feel this would be helpful for you.