Tooth Whitening

What is tooth whitening?

Tooth whitening is a process by which discolourations within the tooth are lightened.

What causes my teeth to discolour?

There are many causes of tooth discolouration. Some of the most common include the consumption of highly coloured food & drink (tea, coffee, red wine), childhood antibiotics, aging, smoking  & trauma.

How does tooth whitening work?

Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth from which custom-made trays (like thin mouthguards) are made. This holds the whitening gel close to your teeth. The whitening gel is broken down and oxygen enters the enamel and the stains are “dissolved”.

How long will it take to whiten my teeth?

Wearing the trays for 30 minutes to 2 hours every day will gradually lighten the teeth.  Most mouth trays are light enough to permit talking and working with them in place. Good results usually occur in about two weeks. The daily bleaching process can be continued until you are happy with the appearance of your teeth. However, it is not always possible to achieve white teeth.

How long will it last?

Your teeth will start to restain by the same things that caused them to discolour in the first place. Results vary, but you may need to touch up once or twice a year.

Is the treatment safe?

Yes. Clinical studies have shown that whitening with carbamide or hydrogen peroxide gel under the supervision of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums.


  • Bleaching is ideal for undamaged teeth that only need lightening in colour.
  • Once the custom-made tray has been fitted, you are able to do the whitening at home.
  • The upper and lower teeth can be bleached.
  • Approved bleaching products are safe to use.


  • Some blemishes will not improve. Whitening works best for teeth that are stained yellow or brown. Teeth with grey stains may lighten a little, but results will not be as good.
  • Care needs to be taken so that the whitening gel does not come into prolonged contact with the gums. This may cause short-term irritation or burning.
  • Some will experience temporary sensitivity, especially to cold. This will subside after several hours of ceasing the treatment.
  • Fillings and crowns do not lighten. If there are any in the smile region, they may need replacing    2 – 4 weeks after whitening.
  • Some teeth do not bleach evenly.