Dental bleaching, also known as tooth whitening, is a common procedure in general dentistry. Whitening restores natural tooth color and bleaching whitens natural color. Most bleaching products are peroxide-based and are actually capable of altering the colours of the tooth itself. However, not all tooth discolourations respond to tooth-bleaching treatments.
There are three methods for bleaching teeth. The method that will work best for you depends on the number of teeth that need to be bleached, and on how badly they are stained or discoloured.
Your dentist may suggest:
- Putting a special bleach on your stained teeth and using heat (or heat and light) to start the bleaching action; or
- Wearing a custom-made mouth guard filled with a special bleach for part of each day; or
- Brushing with a special bleach mixed in toothpaste.
Bleaching should be done only under a dentist’s care. Tooth-bleaching under controlled dental office conditions may be safe and effective, but the new in-office vital tooth-bleaching techniques, particularly those using laser and lights, have undergone little scientific assessment.