What is Tooth Whitening?

Tooth whitening uses either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to remove stains and discolouration that may have arisen as a result of food staining, stains from smoking or from drinking red wine, tea or coffee. The process is very safe and can be applied to all natural teeth. 

Tooth whitening can help restore a natural, brighter smile.

Typical treatment length

The various available methods of tooth whitening enable either instant or gradual results

Types of whitening


At home whitening will involve having a tray custom-made to the shape of your mouth and teeth. The tray is lined with whitening gel and you wear the trays for at least 2 hours a day to gradually whiten your teeth. The more often the trays are worn, the quicker your teeth will whiten!


Tooth Whitening can also be carried out within your dental practice. Your dentist may use a stronger bleaching product that is activated using a laser light, producing a brighter, more instant result. Top-up home kits can be provided to continue the treatment.

The Treatment


If you decide to have your teeth whitened in the dental surgery you will need to make several visits to the practice over a couple of months.

Your clinician will take a dental impression that he can then use to make your custom tooth whitening tray. Once at home, you apply your tooth whitening gel to the tray and wear it for a specified amount of time over 1 to 8 weeks.

If laser treatment is used, the procedure should only take approximately one hour.


Is Tooth Whitening Safe?


Tooth whitening may cause temporary sensitivity and irritation to your gums, but should not cause any permanent damage.

Your clinician will advise you as to whether or not Tooth Whitening will be suitable for your teeth; for example, the presence of gum disease will increase the risk of the bleaching agent causing irritation to the gums and your clinician will be unable to carry out the treatment.

It is illegal for anyone but a registered dental professional to carry out your Tooth Whitening treatment. To find out if a dental professional is registered with General Dental Council you can check online (www.gdc-uk.org) or by calling 0207 167 6000.