Teeth Whitening FAQs

Your smile is important. It’s one of the first things you notice when you meet someone. A whiter, brighter smile is beautiful – it can help you feel better about yourself and make a memorable impression

Your lifestyle and the ageing process can stain and darken your teeth. Many things we do on a regular basis can contribute to stained teeth, such as drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine or smoking.

Whitening can get your smile looking its best. Non-professional procedures and clinically unproven teeth whitening tips can often lead to unsatisfactory results, you should look for a whitening procedure that is:

  • Fast and convenient
  • Long lasting
  • Low sensitivity
  • Proven to be safe and effective
  • Performed by a Dental Professional

The causes of discolouration

Food and drink

Drinking and eating heavily coloured food and drink (such as coffee and red wine), smoking and medicaments such as chlorhexidine can stain the surface of our teeth. This surface staining is normally removed by brushing, or during a hygienist cleaning, but can build up over time and become integrated into the tooth structure, when tooth whitening is the only way of restoring the natural tooth colour.


As we age, the surface enamel layer becomes thinner through wear, and the underlying darker colour of the dentine shows through. Additionally, secondary dentine is laid down as part of the bodies’ natural defence against thinning enamel and further dulls the tooth colour.


Discolouration to vital teeth due to trauma caused by blood penetrating the dentine tubules can be reduced, or even eliminated by tooth whitening. Similar staining due to blood disorders such as thalassemia and sickle-cell anaemia can also be effectively treated.

Extreme staining – tetracycline

Medicaments such as some tetracyclines can case severe tooth staining if given during tooth formation. Tetracyclines may be prescribed during adolescence to treat acne or infections. Tetracyclines taken after the first trimester of pregnancy, or while breast-feeding may also cause tooth staining in the infant. Tetracycline stains can appear as yellow, brown or grey striations, and are integral to the tooth structure. While it is very difficult to remove tetracycline staining from teeth, tooth whitening can lessen the effects, although prolonged treatment may be necessary.

Extreme staining – fluorosis

Fluorosis can cause abnormal enamel, producing an unsightly mottled effect on teeth. Again, it can be difficult to completely eliminate the effect of fluorosis, but the effect can be lessened. Tooth whitening is contraindicated if the fluorosis is so severe that it has virtually eliminated all the enamel.

What is tooth whitening?

At Cherrybank, we offer a range of tooth whitening solutions. Some of our patients prefer the quickest result, some have sensitive teeth, some people want their teeth to go as white as possible – and some prefer a more controlled, natural removal of stains. We utilise the very latest in whitening technology with our Revive, Hollywood or Gently Does It tooth whitening products to give you the result you are looking for.

How does it work?

All Cherrybank professional tooth whitening products contains either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (an adduct of hydrogen peroxide and urea) as active ingredients. These peroxides penetrate the dental hard tissues and oxygenate both the dye substances (chromophores) absorbed onto the enamel surface and those in the enamel and dentine tissues.

In the process of bleaching the peroxides attack unsaturated double bonds of the chromophores, which result in colourless oxygenated molecules and particles. The chromophores lose their colouring capacity, and the natural white tooth colour is restored. Some of our products use light activation which energises the oxygenated molecules to increase their efficiency.

The structure of the tooth is completely unchanged and numerous scientific studies have proven that the enamel is completely unharmed. We can provide you with a report on these studies – just ask!

How long does Whitening take?

Most of our patients prefer the in-practice system which takes about an hour and a half utilising the Zoom Advanced Power Light. We also offer ‘lunchtime’ whitening using an innovative whitening putty which gives great results within an hour – perfect for a lunchtime.

What will I experience during the Cherrybank Whitening Experience?

During the procedure, patients may comfortably watch a DVD or listen to music.

How long do the results last?

By following some simple post whitening care instructions, your teeth will always be lighter than they were before. To keep your teeth looking their best, we recommend flossing, brushing twice daily, and occasional touch-ups with homecare kits which are usually provided with your initial session. These are professional formula products designed specifically to keep your teeth their brightest. They are available only through your dental professional.

Are there any side effects?

Sensitivity during the treatment may occur with some patients. If your teeth are particularly sensitive, we have a special regime which can allow you to achieve the same results with minimum discomfort. On rare occasions, minor tingling sensations are experienced immediately after the procedure, but always dissipate.

Do many people whiten their teeth?

More people than you might imagine. A bright sparkling smile can make a big difference for everyone. At Cherrybank Dental Spa, it is one of our most popular procedures – from teenagers to seniors!

Who may benefit from tooth whitening?

Almost anyone. However, treatment may not be as effective for some as it is for others. Your dentist or hygienist can determine if you are a viable candidate for this procedure through a thorough oral exam, including a shade assessment.

Is whitening safe?

Yes. Extensive research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. As with any tooth whitening product, it is not generally recommended for children under 13 years of age and pregnant or lactating women.

Last updated August 16th, 2016