There are three main types of tooth whitening: whitening toothpastes, home-use whiteners and in–office whitening.
Whitening toothpastes the gentlest kind of whiteners and usually do not have side effects. However, they are not so effective as professional teeth whitening procedures, can lighten teeth only slightly and their results are visible no longer than over days or weeks.
Home-use whiteners available at your dentist are more effective and can be applied with trays, strips, a rinse, or a brush. Their results are more noticeable, last longer and can lighten even heavier stains and discolorations.
In-office whiteners are much stronger than whitening toothpastes and home-use whiteners, since they use more peroxide. They can change the colour of your teeth faster than the other methods. But they can cause some side effects as well and they are not for everybody. Your teeth may become sensitive to very hot or cold and your gums may be irritated temperatures for several days
Over whitening can cause severe discomfort to your teeth and gums and harm your tooth enamel. Tooth whitening is not recommended for people with gum disease and tooth decay. Also, the colour of fillings and crowns cannot be changed by tooth whitening.
To keep your teeth white as long as possible, avoid smoking and stain-causing food and drinks for several days after whitening (tea, coffee, berries etc.). Keep in mind that teeth usually return to their original shade over time.
Home teeth whitening takes place in a comfort of your home. The dental hygienist will first take an imprint of your teeth which will be used to create tailored silicon forms.
You will then apply a whitening gel in the forms and put them on teeth for 4 or 6 hours during the night. The whitening process is two to four weeks long.
You can expect your teeth to lighten about five shades.