How To Whiten Your Teeth and Actually Get Results

With a quick internet search of ‘teeth whitening’ you will be bombarded with a plethora of methods and teeth whitening products claiming to give you the white and fresh smile you desire- but do they actually work and can they cause harm to your teeth? 

Dr Ian Kok takes a deep dive into everything you need to know about teeth whitening below. 

Tooth discolouration is a common dental concern- whether caused from a long term smoking habit, coffee drinking, eating certain foods or the natural ageing process- there are many effective and safe ways to give you a whiter and brighter smile- transforming and refreshing your appearance. 

Choosing the wrong method can either prove to be wholly ineffective or in the worst case scenario cause permanent damage to your teeth. 

The dangers of improper teeth whitening:

The dangers of improper teeth whitening:

  • Tooth sensitivity 
  • Gum irritation 
  • Loss of the tooth’s protective enamel 
  • Teeth appearing more discoloured than before whitening was carried out 
  • Increased risk of tooth fracture 
  • Nerve damage 

What are the natural teeth whitening methods?

What are the natural teeth whitening methods?

Baking soda

Baking soda works to whiten teeth by removing stains and some of the outer tooth enamel layer by abrasion. 

Should you use it? 

If using baking soda to whiten your teeth do so no more than once a week. 

We don’t recommend long term use of baking soda as it puts you at increased risk of tooth sensitivity and cavity development.

Lemon mixed with baking soda 

Although you may notice whiter teeth in the short term this method must be avoided at all costs. 

Lemon juice is very acidic and will corrode and significantly damage the enamel of your teeth 

Tin foil

Also works by causing abrasion of your outer enamel layer. 

Should you use it? 

Tin foil is far too abrasive to use on the teeth and will cause permanent tooth damage. We don’t recommend it’s use

Activated charcoal 

There are many claims that activated charcoal can remove stains by binding to compounds that cause discolouration like coffee, plaque and wine working to remove them. 

Should you use it?

No- There is no evidence to support the tooth whitening claims of charcoal- in fact- due to its high absorbency it can actually cause significant erosion and permanent damage to the enamel. 

Professional teeth whitening methods

Professional teeth whitening methods

Laser teeth whitening 

Laser teeth whitening involves the application of a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide to the teeth and activating it with a light for a period of 60-90 minutes.

Should you use it? 

There is no doubt that this method will give you whiter teeth and fast- however this is often due to the initial dehydration of the teeth- often within a couple of days-weeks your results will begin to fade- and so it isn’t the favourite method for whitening teeth

Teeth whitening strips 

These are gel strips containing hydrogen peroxide which you apply to cover the tooth surfaces. 

Should you use it? 

Not recommended: Whitening strips have a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide and are known to wear enamel- causing damage and increased tooth sensitivity 

Whitening toothpastes 

Whitening toothpastes contain abrasive particles which act to remove stains when you brush your teeth 

Should you use it? 

Whitening toothpastes may help to give you a whiter smile- however they require prolonged use before you will see results, they also wear the enamel over time and so it is better to avoid long term use.

At home whitening kits 

At home whitening kits are our favourite and most recommended way to get fast, safe and effective results 

At home teeth whitening kits

At home teeth whitening kits

The at home teeth whitening kit we provide couldn’t be easier to use.

We take moulds of your teeth to custom make whitening trays that will fit snugly and comfortably over your teeth. 

Your dentist will give you instructions on how to use your new whitening kit and will show you how to insert and remove your trays. 

At home you will simply apply the provided whitening gel into the trays and place them over your teeth. Over the next 2-4 weeks of wearing your trays for a few hours at a time you will begin to notice your teeth becoming whiter. 

Maintaining a newly whitened smile

Maintaining a newly whitened smile

Some foods are more closely associated with teeth staining than others:  

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red wine 
  • Certain spices such as turmeric 

It may be best to avoid or reduce their consumption- many people also drink coffee and tea through a straw to decrease the risk of staining :  

Attending your dental hygienist for regularly for a scale and polish appointment is also an effective way to remove stains from teeth and to refresh your smile.

When should you avoid whitening your teeth

When should you avoid whitening your teeth

It is not recommended to whiten your teeth in the following circumstances 

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding 
  • You have decayed teeth or cavities 
  • You have composite bonding, veneers or crowns on your front teeth- it is recommended to have your teeth whitening carried out prior to these treatments 
  • You have sensitive teeth and gums 
  • If you’re currently undergoing Invisalign or orthodontic treatment - it is best to wait until treatment is complete 


So, how should I whiten my teeth?

At home whitening kits are the best tried and tested method for whitening your teeth- we are proud to offer you our bespoke whitening kits which will give you the results you’re after without causing damage to your teeth. 

Call (0)1 525 2670 or book your initial consultation with one of our experienced and friendly dentists today

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