Tooth whitening is a procedure that can lighten the shade of your teeth and remove stain or discoloration caused by diet items such as coffee, tea, wine, chocolate or non-diet items such as tobacco use. Tooth whitening lasts weeks or months depending on the structure of the enamel and the intensity of the stain present in foods. The procedure may be repeated on a regular basis as needed.
Tooth whitening can be done at home or in the dental office. The dentist will often take a photo of your existing tooth color to monitor your progress and compare the new lighter shade of your teeth throughout treatment.
Both in-home and in-office bleaching may cause increased tooth sensitivity. This is an usual side effect and usually subsides a few days after the whitening treatments have been completed. Whitening procedures should be avoided if you are pregnant.