ValuedPatient - Healthcare Topics

I want to get my teeth whitened. What options are available?

You may be considering undertaking a teeth-whitening procedure.  A professional scale and clean with a hygienist removing plaque, tartar and surface staining from your teeth could make a difference to the colour of your teeth.  Should you wish to pursue other whitening treatments, there are several different options available with varying levels of effectiveness.

  • Over-the-counter. As teeth whitening increases in popularity, the range of store-bought products has also increased.  Whitening toothpastes are available at supermarkets and pharmacies.  These can remove surface stains on your teeth, but do not contain the peroxide based whitening agents and will only lighten your teeth a shade or two.  There are also whitening gels and whitening strips.  Stronger than toothpastes, these use a low concentration peroxide gel and can offer results that last a couple of weeks.
  • At Home Whitening. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth in order to create a whitening tray to fit your upper and lower teeth, and will provide you with the whitening gel so you can complete the whitening process at home. It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions on how to use them correctly. Using them regularly, you should notice a difference after about ten to fourteen days.
  • In Chair Whitening. This is the most popular and effective option and can be completed in one visit with your dentist.  Your dentist is able to utilise a stronger concentration of peroxide than available in at-home products and will ensure the whitening gel is professionally and safely administered.  This method will provide you with much quicker and more long-lasting results.

Your dentist will be able to advise you on your suitability for teeth whitening and discuss the details of the different methods with you so you can make an informed decision.