Teeth Whitening

Beautiful white teeth convey attractiveness and self-confidence. People with bright teeth tend to be perceived as healthier and better groomed. They find it easier to smile and they exude vitality.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have been born with bright white teeth. There may be several reasons for dark discolourations. Colour pigments from products such as coffee, tea, tobacco or food may all affect the colour of your teeth.

Professional dental cleaning done at our clinic can easily remove these discolourations. Bleaching, a cosmetic treatment used for brightening your teeth, is also a good option when the discolouration of your teeth is caused by dark tooth structure, yellowish discolourations as a result of the medication or genetic disposition.

Make your dream of white teeth come true now. You can choose from a range of bleaching methods that will allow us to noticeably brighten your teeth within a short time — carefully and for the long term.

Option I: Home bleaching

As the term suggests home bleaching is done by yourself at home. Along with instructions on how to do this, we will also give you fitted mouth guards for your upper and lower jaws. You simply fill the mouth guards with a bleaching agent and wear them initially for one to four hours and then during the night.

Since whitening can only be used on healthy teeth we will carefully examine your teeth and gums before any treatment. We must exclude or treat diseases such as tooth decay or periodontitis beforehand. For the best possible result, we also carry out a professional tooth cleaning in advance, which removes superficial discolouration.

Option II: In-office bleaching

Also known as chair-side bleaching, this is a bleaching procedure conducted at our clinic. A bleaching agent, usually six per cent hydrogen peroxide, is used. In line with a new EU guideline, the bleaching agent may not contain more hydrogen peroxide than the bleaching agent used at home. Nonetheless, this is a very efficient way to bleach your teeth. Of course, combinations between home-bleaching and in-office bleaching are possible.

How does bleaching work at the dentist?

Option III: Walking bleach

Walking bleach means that we carefully brighten up root canal treated and discoloured teeth over a few weeks. For a duration of three to five days, the root canal is filled with hydrogen peroxide (three per cent), and the tooth regains its original colour.

When must bleaching not be carried out?

As bleaching is not a medical treatment, most people may make use of it without any problems.

In the following cases, however, you should not attempt to bleach your teeth:

  • In case of pregnancy or during the nursing period
  • If you take the following medicines or substances: chlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, Naprosyn, oxaprozin, nabumetone, piroxicam, doxycycline, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, psoralens, demeclocycline, isotretinoin, tretinoin
  • In case of carious lesions and/or leaking restorative margins and crown margins
  • If you are under the age of 18

It is also important to know that any restorations, such as white fillings or ceramic restorations, remain unchanged by the bleaching, ie they are not whitened.

Facts about teeth whitening

The desire for white teeth and an attractive smile is steadily increasing.
Healthy, bright teeth make the face look more vital and younger than discoloured or yellowish teeth. Tooth discolourations can have many reasons: internal tooth discolourations can occur through trauma, medication or malnutrition whereas external tooth discolouration can come about through the deposition of dye-containing food and consumption of coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco. Superficial discolouration can usually be easily removed by regular tooth cleaning.

Nevertheless, every person has a natural, individual tooth colour, which can turn out differently bright, greyish or yellowish. This changes over time due to discolouring substances that penetrate deep into the enamel. As a result, yellowish-brown “age discolouration” inevitably develops in everyone’s teeth, which cannot be removed even by thorough dental care.

Tooth whitening allows teeth to be whitened by two to three colour levels. Tooth bleaching preparations are used which release oxygen radicals in the enamel, which chemically alter the dyes in the tooth and thus cause colour lightening.

To keep the teeth white for as long as possible you should pay particular attention to a few dietary and behavioural tips, especially in the first few days after tooth whitening.

Food and Drink

Pigments accumulate particularly easily in the teeth after bleaching. To prevent this, you should abstain from colouring foods during the first three days. Even fruits or juices that contain a lot of fruit acid are unsuitable because they irritate the already hypersensitive teeth even more.

If possible, delete the following foods from your diet for the next two weeks:

  • Red wine, grape juice
  • Black, rooibos and green tea, coffee, cola
  • Carrots, beetroot, paprika, spinach, tomatoes
  • Berries, cherries, grapes
  • Ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, balsamic
  • Saffron, curry, turmeric
  • Dark chocolate

In the first few days after bleaching, stick to a ‘white diet’, consisting of foods such as:

  • Yoghurt, milk, cottage cheese
  • Water
  • Cauliflower, celery
  • Turkey, fish
  • Rice, white flour products like white bread, toast, semolina, pasta etc

Nutrition for radiant teeth

On average, the bleaching effect lasts for three to five years. How long your teeth actually stay white also depends on your diet and dental care. The more colouring foods on the table, the faster the lightening effect fades. Therefore it makes sense to restrict the consumption of strong colouring stimulants.


In addition to all the foods listed above, tannins in tobacco have a discolouring effect on teeth, so you should refrain from smoking in the first few days after bleaching. If you want to maintain the results of teeth whitening for as long as possible, smoking cessation is recommended and you are also doing something good for your overall health.

Incidentally, whitening toothpaste is not a solution for those who cannot stop smoking. They often contain substances that remove tooth enamel, causing damage to the teeth and even darkening in the long run when the protective enamel layer is lost.

Pain after bleaching

Excessive sensitivity of the teeth and irritated gums can occur after bleaching. The symptoms usually return after a short time, but if you notice these side effects for more than three days, visit your dentist.

Maintaining white teeth properly

Avoid using mouthwash and toothpaste with stripes for the first few days. It is better to use fluoride gel for your teeth to aid remineralisation and reduce pain sensitivity. If you pay attention to good oral hygiene, use dental floss and go for professional teeth cleaning regularly, your teeth will not only stay healthy, they will also stay white longer.


How long your teeth stay white after bleaching will also depend on you. If you reduce strong colouring stimulants and pay attention to consistent oral hygiene, your teeth will be brighter for longer than before, even if tooth ageing and darkening is unavoidable. To avoid complications this treatment should always be checked by a dentist even if it is carried out at home.

For more information regarding this treatment

Back to Saving Teeth

Lecturer of the Academy of Practice and Science

Implantologist certified by the German Society for Implantology (DGI)

Specialist certified by the General Dental Council and the German Society of Prosthodontics and Dental Materials

Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine

Registered Specialist with the General Dental Council

All-on-4® Competence Center

University lecturer at the Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel, Germany

Certified training centre for Implantology (DGI)

European Association for Osseointegration

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Wimpole Street Dental Clinic
  • 55 Wimpole Street
  • Marylebone
  • London
  • W1G 8YL
  • T.020 3745 7455

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