Tooth whitening is great if you want to improve the shade of your teeth without any invasive treatment to your enamel. It requires special gels that contain hydrogen perioxide which bond to coloured molecules inside your tooth structure breaking them down making your teeth whiter in appearance.

It is legal for non-dentists to offer tooth whitening using hydrogen peroxide so if you see someone locally advertising tooth whitening it will not be (or should not be) hydrogen peroxide that they are using.

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Tooth whitening times can vary depending on how stained your teeth are to begin with:

  • Basic: 4-6 weeks
  • Intermediate:6-8weeks
  • Advanced: 8-12 weeks

The majority of patient who have their teeth whitened are in the basic category which takes 4-6 weeks to get to the desired shade.

Reasons for tooth discolouration:

Extrinsic ( staining on the outside of the tooth)

  • Foods- Fried foods have oil molecules which cause a browning reaction, cheese/dairy can cause black staining due to iron content.
  • Drinks- Coffee, tea, red wine.
  • Antibiotics
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene

Intrinsic ( Staining inside the tooth)

  • Internal bleeding following trauma to tooth
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Trauma
  • Medications: Roaccutane, minocycline, tetracycline, amoxicillin, iron staining
  • Chlorine from swimming pools with frequent swimming.


The two side effects that occur most often are a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity and mild irritation of the soft tissues of the mouth, particularly the gums. Tooth sensitivity often occurs during early stages of the bleaching treatment. Tissue irritation most commonly results from an ill-fitting bleaching tray rather than the tooth-bleaching agent. Both of these conditions usually are temporary and disappear within 1 to 3 days of stopping or completing treatment.

If you do experience sensitivity, you can reduce or eliminate it by:

  • Wearing the tray for a shorter period of time (for example, two 30-minute sessions versus two 60-minute sessions)
  • Stop whitening your teeth for two to three days to allow your teeth to adjust to the whitening process
  • Brush your teeth with a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain potassium nitrate, which helps soothe your teeth’s nerve endings.
  • Change to a lower concentration of whitening gel.

Tips for maintaining your newly whitened teeth include:

  • Avoiding the consumption of or exposure to products that stain your teeth such as coffee, tea or red wine. If you do choose to consume beverages that stain, consider using a straw so that the liquid bypasses your front teeth.
  • Follow good oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss at least once daily to remove plaque.
  • Consider touch-up treatments. Depending on the whitening method used, you may need a tough-up every 6 months or after a year or two. If you smoke or drink lots of stain-causing beverages, you may need a touch up more often.

Studies of whitening products using 10% carbamide peroxide showed little to no effect on the hardness or mineral content of a tooth’s enamel surface.

There are many options for making your smile look better – from a simple visit to the hygienist to tooth whitening, straightening etc. Our Revive collection combines the very latest in dental options to restore the healthy brilliance of your smile.the composite bonding settle.

Over 10 years of clinical use of whitening products containing 10% carbamide peroxide have not shown any damage to existing fillings. The issue is not “damage” to existing restorations; rather, keep in mind that existing restorations such as tooth-coloured fillings, crowns, bonding, veneers, and bridges do not lighten. This means that any pre-existing dental work may need to be replaced to match the new tooth shade achieved in the natural teeth, should a bleaching process proceed.

There’s no evidence to date that the tooth whitening process has a harmful effect on the health of a tooth’s nerve.

Yes. Yellowish teeth respond well to bleaching, brownish-coloured teeth respond less well, and grayish-hue or purple-stained teeth may not respond well to bleaching at all. Blue-grey staining caused by tetracycline is more difficult to lighten and may require up to 4 months of home treatment. Teeth that have dark stains may be better candidates for another lightening option, such as veneers, bonding, or crowns. Your dentist can discuss the options best suited for your situation.

With all types of bleaching procedures, the degree of whiteness will vary from individual to individual depending on the condition of the teeth, nature of the stain, the concentration of the bleach and the duration of time and bleaching system used.


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Tooth whitening is great if you want to improve the shade of your teeth without any invasive treatment to your enamel.