Teeth whitening

Tooth whitening or tooth bleaching is the process of lightening the color of human teeth. Whitening is often desirable when teeth become yellowed over time for a number of reasons, and can be achieved by changing the intrinsic or extrinsic color of the tooth enamel.

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What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that helps to whiten teeth by removing stains and discolouration. Most teeth whitening products contain peroxide, either as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.


You can whiten your teeth at home with an over-the-counter treatment, but you will achieve faster results by visiting one of our approved clinicians, as our treatments typically contain a higher percentage of peroxide and are less abrasive. This leads to more effective results without damaging your tooth enamel.

How does teeth whitening work?

The peroxide in teeth-whitening products dissolves the organic stains in the tooth to change the colour and produce a whitened effect. This is achieved by entering the tiny pores of the enamel and dentine before breaking up the stains that block out light. More light passes through the teeth and makes them look lighter as the stains are broken into smaller and smaller pieces.

What whitening treatments are available?

We offer two whitening treatments at our practice. Both methods are have great results but vary in the technique of whitening.

Option 1:
Take Home Whitening - Boutique Whitening

You can choose from 'Day' whitening or 'Night' whitening

Boutique Whitening by Day is a 6% hydrogen peroxide gel. Hydrogen peroxide is inherently unstable and will break down immediately once you place the whitening trays in your mouth The majority of the peroxide will be spent within the first 20 minutes of wear, but to experience the full effect of the gel, we recommend at least 1 to 1.5 hours of wear time.

Boutique by Night has several different protocols, all designed for a minimum of 4 hours’ wear time, but best results will manifest from keeping the trays in overnight, so you can whiten as you sleep. Wearing for 6 hours or more at night will typically yield better results.

We have a 10% carbamide peroxide gel, or a 16% carbamide peroxide gel – both designed to be worn overnight.  These are the equivalent of 3.5% hydrogen peroxide and 5.7% hydrogen peroxide, respectively. 

Both gels will give you a fantastic white smile, but the 16% will get you there a little faster.  If you suffer from sensitivity, the 10% is a better option for whitening your teeth.

Option 2: In-Chair Whitening - Polaoffice+

In-Chair whitening is a fantastic option for patients who want instant results.

In-chair whitening procedure

  • The clinician will assess whether you are suitable for whitening treatment

  • Your clinician will go through a thorough explanation of the procedure where you sign a consent form to proceed with treatment

  • Take photos and record your current tooth shade

  • Polish any stains and debris from the teeth that will be whitened

  • Place a protective material over your soft tissues (gums, lips, mucosa) to protect from whitening solution

  • Place whitening solution on for 8 minutes x 4 sessions

  • The clinician will stay with you the entire appointment to ensure you are comfortable and safe

  • Once the bleaching completed, we remove the whitening solution and rinse with water

  • Take photos and record the new shade

  • Sensitive toothpaste is then placed on all surfaces of the teeth to help with any sensitivity

Side effects of teeth whitening

  • Tooth sensitivity - Some people can experience some tooth sensitivity during the first 24 – 48 hours after the whitening treatment. If you experience tooth sensitivity after the treatment, you can use sensitive toothpaste (Sensodyne or Colgate Pro-relief etc) to ease the discomfort. Brush your teeth with this toothpaste until tooth sensitivity goes away. You can also use your finger to place the toothpaste directly on the sensitive area.
     

  • Irritated gums - You may also experience gingival irritation. This can happen when contact your gums get in contact with the whitening product which causes a mild chemical burn. This side effect should heal within a few hours or days. 
     

  • Relapse - After the treatment, it is natural for teeth colour to regress somewhat over time. This is normal and should be very gradual, but it can be accelerated by exposing the teeth to various staining agents, such as coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine, colas, citrus drinks, and fruits, etc. Do not eat or drink anything except water for the first hour after the treatment because the gel opens the pores of the enamel and makes the teeth very vulnerable to staining agents. Also, be aware that drinks and food are not the only things that can stain your teeth when the pores are open; lipstick, for example, can stain too.
    Do NOT apply lipstick soon after whitening your teeth.

     

  • Allergic reaction - Some people are allergic to peroxide but are not aware of it. If you had the treatment done and a few hours or a day later you have a blister on your lips, you are probably having an allergic reaction to the gel. Buy liquid vitamin E in any chemist and apply it to the blister until it goes away. It generally goes away within a couple of days by itself anyway. If symptoms persist, please give us a call or visit your nearest GP.

Results

How long the results will last depends on 2 main factors:


1. Your habits
2. The porosity of your teeth


If you expose your teeth to staining agents such as tobacco, coffee, red wine, tea, curries, berries colas, etc. on a regular basis, your whitening results will not last as long. If you have naturally porous enamel, your teeth will be more vulnerable to staining agents and your teeth will get stained again sooner than the average person. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing ahead of time how porous your teeth are.


If you have non-porous enamel and you don’t expose your teeth to staining beverages on a regular basis, the results may last for up to 2 years.

The white diet (24-48 hours after treatment)

The White Diet is very important to any teeth whitening procedure. You must keep to this for 24-48 hours and avoid any food or staining agent that will cause discoloration. Remember that after the teeth whitening treatment the pores of your enamel are open and this makes them extremely vulnerable to any staining agents. Once the pores close, which usually occurs 24-48 hours after the procedure, you can resume your normal habits.

Foods you can have:
 

  • Water

  • Milk

  • Chicken

  • Turkey

  • Potato without skin

  • Cauliflower

  • Banana

  • Cottage Cheese

  • White Rice

  • White Pasta

  • White Sauce 

  • White Fish

Foods to avoid:

  • Lemonade

  • Acidic drinks

  • Fruit Juice

  • Tea

  • Coffee

  • Tomato Sauce

  • BBQ Sauce

  • Red wine

  • Curries

  • Berries

  • Green / Orange vegetables

  • Beer

  • Butter

  • You should avoid any foods that have pigmentation/colour

Further advice

  • Avoid extremely hot or cold liquids

  • Avoid foods that are acidic

  • Cut back on drinking and smoking

  • Use smudge-proof lipstick