What you need to know about teeth whitening


Whitening your teeth is one of the easiest ways to give your smile a boost. It could make a huge difference to your smile and confidence like it has done for me!

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening involves bleaching the teeth to make them lighter

Who can perform teeth whitening?

Tooth whitening is a form of dentistry which means that only a dentist or dental professional (registered dental hygienist or dental therapist under the prescription of dentist) can perform dental whitening.

It is illegal for non-dental professionals such as beauticians to carry out tooth whitening. You should also be very careful about buying whitening products online as this is either illegal and may contain unknown and potentially harmful ingredients. We recently heard of a patient who used some whitening product off Ebay which caused irreversible damage to her enamel. Don't gamble with your health!

Before you have tooth whitening you should always see a dentist so that your mouth, teeth and gums can be assessed to see if tooth whitening is suitable for you.

What is used to whiten teeth?

Tooth whitening products contain or release hydrogen peroxide which whitens the teeth.

Tooth whitening products containing or releasing less than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide are available to buy freely from shops or the internet (whitening toothpastes, whitening mouth-rinses, DIY whitening kits). These whitening products are usually ineffective at significantly whitening the teeth. They can help with surface staining (from tea / coffee / smoking). However whitening toothpastes can be quite abrasive and if used excessively can cause irreversible damage to your tooth enamel.

Tooth whitening products containing 0.1% - 6% are NOT available freely to buy. You can only get these through a dentist or dental professional following a dental examination.

The tooth whitening products we use release 6% hydrogen peroxide.

How is teeth whitening performed?

The dentist will first carry out a dental examination to check the health of your mouth, teeth and gums to see if tooth whitening is suitable.

If you require any fillings and gum treatment this is normally carried out before any tooth whitening.

You should be aware that tooth whitening will NOT whiten any white fillings, crowns, veneers, implants, or bridges. You may need to have these replaced following tooth whitening.

There are two methods of whitening your teeth professionally

1. Home whitening with custom trays

The dentist will make a note of the current shade of your teeth and sometimes take photographs. A mould of your teeth and gums (impression) will be taken. This impression will then be used to make custom-fit whitening trays to fit your top and bottom teeth.

Your dentist will provide you with some whitening gel and show you how to apply the whitening gel in the trays so that you can safely whiten your teeth at home for about 2 weeks. This method of whitening whitens your teeth gradually and gives long lasting results.

2. Chairside whitening

Chairside whitening means the dentists whitens your teeth in the clinic "chairside". This involves application of a highly active whitening gel to your teeth. This is usually reapplied a few times. Sometimes a light is needed to activate the whitening gel. This method gives you an instantly whiter smile but we usually recommend a take home kit for top ups.

What results should you expect?

Teeth whitening usually will lighten your teeth by several shades but the results can vary from patient to patient. The lightest natural shade is B1, some people can go even lighter than this.

Some whitening products offer a B1 guarantee - ask us for more details.

What are the risks of teeth whitening?

You may experience sensitivity during or after teeth whitening especially if your teeth are already sensitive or if you have fillings in those teeth. The sensitivity is usually temporary. Your gums can also feel sore during whitening.

How much is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is available from only £295

Call us on 0161 327 2878 to book an appointment for tooth whitening today.

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