How to whiten teeth?

At our practice, we favour the nighttime home tray bleaching system.

This is a gentle, effective and safe way to achieve a remarkable improvement in the colour of your natural teeth.

At the first visit, we take an impression (mould) of your upper and lower teeth and use these to construct thin custom-fit trays. At your second visit, we show you how to use the trays with the whitening gel. Most people choose to do the whitening overnight. You can choose instead to wear the trays (with gel inserted) for 1-2 hours during the day (perhaps while sitting watching television, for example).

Depending on individual cases, you may have to wear them overnight or for a couple of hours daily, for 2-3 weeks. 

You will usually start seeing a difference within a week of starting your at-home teeth whitening treatment, but complete results will be seen after 2-3 weeks. There are some cases where it is necessary to persevere for a few months (for example with teeth that have Tetracycline discolouration). 

With good oral care, you can enjoy the lasting effects of your dentist-prescribed at-home teeth whitening for over a year. The whitening should be “topped up” for a couple of nights, maybe once a year – or more frequently, depending on lifestyle & dietary habits.


For the first couple of days after your teeth whitening your teeth are more susceptible to taking up stains from anything you eat or drink, so ideally you might stick to a “white diet” without any artificial or natural colouring in it. You should avoid beverages like tea, coffee, wine, fruit juices, sodas, dark-coloured fruits and anything else that may leave stains on your teeth. You can enjoy curry free protein meals, rice, pudding, pasta, white cheese, white bread, bananas, etc. Just make sure your food is not pigmented.

Mild teeth sensitivity is common while undergoing tooth whitening. The nerves inside your tooth get triggered by the peroxide-based bleaching agents and overreact when they come in contact with hot or cool drinks. In most cases, the hypersensitivity goes away on its own in 48 hours. 

Teeth hypersensitivity can be managed using a variety of products available in the market. Usually, dentists prescribe desensitizing toothpaste to minimize post-treatment sensitivity. These desensitizing toothpaste block pain signals from the tooth nerve to the brain and help decrease discomfort. You can also get desensitizing gels to reduce the sensitivity. Rub a small amount of desensitizing gel/toothpaste over the sensitive teeth and leave it on for the recommended time, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. You can even place the desensitizing gel/toothpaste in your whitening trays and leave them on for the required duration of time. 

It’s essential to use a soft-bristled brush for brushing and lukewarm water rinsing after your whitening treatment. We recommend using fluoride toothpaste to allow the tooth to remineralize and block the nerve endings inside your teeth. Try to leave the fluoride toothpaste on your teeth for 2-3 minutes before rinsing it off, as this will help the fluoride flow into the teeth much better. For a few days after your treatment, opt out of hot and cold drinks, especially tea and coffee, as this will prevent both staining and teeth hypersensitivity. 

In most cases, professional teeth whitening will last anywhere between six months to two years, depending on your eating habits and oral hygiene. Your whitened teeth are susceptible to stains from pigmented food such as tea, coffee, ketchup, wine, beets etc. So to make your teeth whitening treatment last longer, drink lots of water, eat non-staining foods and brush immediately after your meals. 

If you have sensitivity after teeth whitening, you can ask your dentist to prescribe desensitizing toothpaste or gel. Avoid rinsing the mouth with cold water, and instead, use lukewarm water.

Teeth bleaching: If you opt for at-home bleaching trays, you can expect to see results after 2-3 weeks of use. We recommend you wear the trays for a few hours every day during this time, most people find it more convenient to wear the trays overnight.

Teeth Whitening: Teeth whitening using home bleaching trays will get results within a few weeks of wearing the tray for the designated time every day.

Tooth Bleaching: You should avoid teeth staining drinks like tea, coffee, wine etc. while bleaching your teeth. Also, refrain from having acidic drinks like fruit juices, fizzy drinks, and alcohol, which can worsen your tooth sensitivity.

Teeth Whitening: You can enjoy foods devoid of natural or artificial colourings like white rice, white bread, lean meats, fish, potatoes, cauliflowers, egg whites, cheese etc. Avoid pigmented sauces and condiments like turmeric, soy sauce, ketchup, mustard etc.

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Stains that your dentist cannot remove with teeth whitening treatments can be treated with either dental crowns or veneers. 

Dental Crowns: These are caps that fit over the trimmed tooth and cover all the tooth surfaces. You can mask your stained or discoloured teeth by choosing a dental crown with a lighter shade.   Click here to read more

Dental Veneers: These are thin shells of tooth-coloured materials that your dentist will attach to your front teeth. Click here to read more

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