Lady Bay Dental Care - Tooth Whitening
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Latest Spring 2015 Winter 2011

Tooth Whitening

Many toothpastes and over the counter products claim to have a whitening effect. In fact this is achieved by removing surface stain and plaque. 
However, none of these products will actually change the natural colour of the teeth. The only systems that can truly, and very importantly safely, whiten the teeth contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide at concentrations that are effective are only available through dentists.

The systems can be broadly divided into in-surgery "power" bleaching, carried out by your dentist or a home bleaching system, whereby by the patient uses a whitening gel in a custom-made thin gum shield.

As advances have been made in home bleaching systems, the power bleaching option has gradually fallen into decline, and we no longer offer this option in the practice. We believe that a more predictable outcome can be achieved by home bleaching. This lasts longer and can be readily topped up by the patient whenever they wish. It is also significantly cheaper.

Home Bleaching

This system uses various types of peroxide gel in a soft plastic gum shield which we custom make from moulds taken from your teeth to ensure a perfect fit during wear.

Depending on the strength of the gel, the gum shields are generally worn from an hour per day, to overnight, for a period of up to one month.


Tooth whitening means just that - the gel will not change the colour of any fillings, crowns, bridges, veneers etc. that may show at the front of the mouth. If you have any such restorations, you may need to consider replacing these after the whitening process or lower your expectations with regard to how white you want your teeth to be. Sensitivity is the only known side effect, and modern tray designs have all but eliminated this transient problem. Allergy to peroxides is an absolute contradiction. Minimum age for whitening is 15 and is not recommended during pregnancy.

Tooth whitening effects do not last forever. Exactly how long depends on your diet. Hot drinks, such as tea and coffee, smoking and red wine will produce staining over time. To maintain your whiter smile, home bleaching can be easily topped up using fresh gel in the gum shields every year or so.

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