Types of teeth whitening treatment
There are various types of tooth whitening treatment:
In-surgery tooth whitening involves a bleaching solution that is painted onto a patient’s teeth or placed in a custom-fitted tray, which is then pressed onto the tooth arch. Frequently the teeth are subjected to a strong light that speeds up the lightening process. A rubber dam or other protector for the gums is also applied.
This procedure, taking between 15 minutes and one hour, claims to lighten teeth by up to 11 shades. Dental practices can charge up to £700 on average for this.
Home-use bleaching kits, costing around £100, involve placing a hydrogen peroxide solution in bleaching trays which are worn over patient’s teeth at night for up to two weeks. These claim to lighten tooth colour by up to six or eight shades and are the second most popular treatment.
Toothpastes still need to adhere to the rules with no more than 0.01% hydrogen peroxide content. This means they are not clinically effective at whitening. Some whitening toothpastes have been criticised for containing abrasive particles which can wear tooth enamel away.