All your Teeth Whitening Questions Answered

Your smile creates an immediate, subconscious, visual impact on people you meet. Teeth whitening remains one of the most economical ways to enhance your smile. Moreover, professional teeth whitening is an effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of your tooth’s surface.

How safe is it?

If a trained dental professional carries out whitening, it is perfectly safe. Bleaching the teeth with dentist prescribed kits is equivalent to drinking one soda drink. Additionally, the bleaching material has a Ph., which is neutral.

There are problems with the bleaching kits that people purchase over the counter. Although they are inexpensive, they normally contain an acid rinse, which can damage the teeth or thin down the enamel of the teeth. This acid rinse can be extremely harmful to teeth.

What are the side effects?

The most common side effect is tooth and gum sensitivity. Many people experience sensitivity anyway. This occurs around the necks of the teeth were the gums have receded. If you experience any sensitivity, stop bleaching your teeth for a few days. Then, you can resume the treatment after 3-4 days. Also, you can place sensitive toothpaste in your trays for an hour a day.

However, Zoom whitening products contain ACP (amorphous calcium phosphate), potassium nitrate and fluoride, which are proven to reduce sensitivity.

Who can offer it?

Only trained dental professionals can carry out teeth whitening. It is a dental procedure and anybody carrying out tooth whitening other than a qualified dental professional is doing it illegally.

Is there an age restriction?

Teeth whitening cannot be offered to anyone younger than 18.

Can you whiten you teeth if you are pregnant or nursing?

It is advised for pregnant or nursing women to avoid teeth whitening. We don’t know yet the potential impact of swallowed bleach on the fetus or baby.

What is the first step?

You will need an initial consultation with a dentist who will check if you are suitable for teeth whitening. During the consultation, the dentist will go through the different teeth whitening options and help you decide on the best option for you.

Types of Teeth whitening

At home: You place whitening gel into custom made trays similar to a mouth guard. Then, you wear the tray for 1 hour per day (day whitening) or between 6-8 hours (night whitening).

In Spa: We carry out this type of teeth whitening at our spa. After we have prepared your teeth and protected your gums, we place the gel onto your teeth and use an LED light to activate the gel. The appointment is 1.5 hours long. After this session you will need to wear custom made trays for 1 hour for 3 days to complete the whitening treatment.

How long does it take?

At home: It can take anywhere between 2 and 12 weeks.

In Spa: The appointment is for 1.5 hours. Then, you will need to wear the custom trays for 1 hour per day for 3 days.

What if I have fillings, crowns or veneers?

Teeth whitening will not work on any ‘false’ teeth such as veneers, crowns or dentures, nor will it whiten fillings. Therefore, you may need to replace them after tooth whitening to match the new colour of your teeth.

Can a single tooth which has been root filled be whitened?

Yes. Sometimes dead teeth go discoloured after a root filling. If the tooth has been root treated, the canal may be reopened. The whitening product is applied from the inside to whiten the tooth.

What happens if the teeth do not bleach evenly?

If the teeth have white spots on them before bleaching, these spots will appear whiter during the first few days. However, the contrast between the spots and the rest of the tooth will be less noticeable with time. Eventually, they will not be very noticeable. Sometimes we carry out a procedure called Micro-abrasion for where we can more permanently remove the white spots.

Some teeth may appear banded with lighter or whiter areas. Again, these bandings are originally present on the tooth. As the tooth is dark, these bandings are not obvious. As the tooth becomes lighter, the lighter parts of the tooth will lighten first followed by the darker banded area. After a week or so, these will not be noticeable any more.

How will my teeth feel?

Your teeth will feel very clean after the bleaching procedure. Also, the bleaching material has an indirect effect on the gum in helping or improving the health of the gums. This is how dentists invented the technique – they used it to heal gum irritation during orthodontic treatment.

How long does teeth whitening last?

The effects of whitening can last up to 3 years. However, this will vary from person to person. Moreover, your teeth will appear darker if you smoke, eat or drink products that stain your teeth.

We recommend our Silver Hygiene service to remove the surfaces stains. During the service, we use an Airflow system (similar to a patio jet wash) to remove the stains followed by a high gloss polish.

To read our previous blog on the smile makeover, please click here.

To book an appointment or find out more about us, call us on 01582 715 800 or email