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Tooth whitening

Tooth whitening is quickly gaining in popularity. If you want a brighter smile, it is best to discuss it with your dentist during your next visit.

In addition to carrying out a comprehensive examination of your mouth, your dentist can:
  • determine why your teeth have become discoloured
  • tell you whether you are a good candidate for this type of treatment
  • recommend the most appropriate method
  • regularly follow up on the treatment

The dentist’s examination is particularly important if you have a lot of restorations, especially on the front teeth. They may have to be replaced after the whitening, to make sure that all your teeth are the same colour.

There are two types of whitening products:

  • Bleaching products: they actually change the colour of your enamel, by means of peroxide, which can reach both surface and deeper stains.
  • Cleaning products: they do not change the colour of your teeth, but simply remove surface stains (e.g. toothpaste, mouthwash, gum).


  1. in-office whitening
  2. at-home whitening using trays
  3. over-the-counter whitening agents

Current clinical studies indicate that most products are harmless if the instructions for application are followed to the letter and all warnings are obeyed. Before trying them it is best to ask your dentist’s advice.

Undesirable side-effects vary from one patient to another, depending on the individual’s state of health. The most frequent side-effects are tooth sensitivity and possible irritation of soft tissues like gums.

Ask your dentist before you decide.

What you need to know

  • Expectant or nursing women should wait until after their pregnancy or nursing period before having their teeth whitened.
  • Children under age 12 should not use teeth whitening products.