All about teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment which involves bleaching your teeth to make them lighter. The best way to keep your smile healthy and bright is to look after your teeth and gums, but it’s not unusual to need a little help.

You might consider teeth whitening for different reasons. Your teeth can lose their whiteness with age but can also become stained by smoking or drinking lots of tea, coffee or red wine.

Fortunately, our professional whitening treatments quickly and safely remove stains, without damaging your teeth. We’ve seen thousands of patients grow in confidence thanks to a brighter, whiter smile.

We provide two types of teeth whitening, either in-practice whitening or in the form of a home teeth whitening kit.

Why choose Bupa Dental Care for teeth whitening?

Only dental professionals registered with the General Dental Council, like our dentists, are allowed to perform teeth whitening. Whichever whitening option you choose, you can rest assured that it’s safe and effective.

You’ll need to have an initial consultation* before you can go ahead with teeth whitening treatment, to double check your teeth are suitable. During this consultation, we’ll:

  • Check that your teeth and gums are healthy and suitable for whitening
  • Discuss which teeth whitening option might suit you best and the associated cost
  • Give you an idea of how long treatment will take. This could be a few weeks, or as little as an hour depending on the type of teeth whitening procedure

Find your nearest Bupa Dental Care practice offering teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening at the practice

This option could make your teeth up to six shades whiter in just an hour.

Your dentist will apply the gel and use a special blue light to amplify the whitening process, giving quick results.

Teeth whitening at home

Your dentist will give you a teeth whitening kit, with trays and gel, to take home. The tray should be worn as recommended by your dentist and most people wear them overnight. It may take a few weeks to achieve the shade of white you’re looking for.

Home whitening is also provided as a top-up after whitening at the Practice.

What is internal teeth whitening?

If you have a tooth that has become darker after root canal treatment, your dentist may suggest internal teeth whitening.

This means re-opening the hole that was originally made in your tooth, putting the whitening gel into it, and then closing the hole with a temporary filling. This may need to be repeated two or three times, about a week apart. When complete, your dentist will close the hole permanently with a tooth-coloured filling.

Result created using internal bleaching, teeth whitening and a composite filling by Dentist Adam Franks at Malt House Specialist Dental Centre, Part of Bupa.

How should you care for your teeth after whitening treatment?

If you care for your teeth well after treatment, teeth whitening can last for some time. To maximise the effects of treatment, we recommend:

  • Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, twice a day, to remove daily stains that build up on your teeth
  • Flossing every day
  • Regularly visiting the hygienist for a scale and polish
  • Stopping or at least cutting down on smoking
  • Cutting back on foods and drinks which can stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine

Top-up kits are also available to maintain your new brighter smile. Your dentist will explain how to care for your smile once you’ve had the treatment.

Is teeth whitening right for you?

  • You’ll need to be 18 or over to have teeth whitening
  • Your teeth and gums must be healthy, which your dentist will check during your initial consultation*
  • It’s best to delay having your teeth whitened if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, because it’s not clear whether the whitening products can affect the baby
  • Be aware that teeth whitening won’t lighten the colour of any crowns, veneers, bridges or dentures

If your dentist decides you’re not suitable for teeth whitening, you could consider veneers or crowns for any particularly discoloured or damaged teeth. Your dentist will explain all your options to you during your initial consultation.

Find your local Bupa Dental Care practice offering teeth whitening

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More about teeth whitening

*Teeth whitening treatment is not suitable for every patient and is subject to the patient's oral health. Prior to whitening treatment commencing, patients will need a dental examination from their dentist to confirm their teeth and gums are healthy and fit for whitening treatment. This dental examination is a separate charge in addition to the costs of the whitening treatment.

‡: Philips data. Zoom 6% Whitening Gel Efficacy Test. Data on file. 2013. †Giniger et al Jada Vol. 136, March 2005 and Li et al Compend Contin Educ Dent. Vol 24(5) May 2003.

Many images and videos used throughout our website were taken before the COVID-19 outbreak and therefore do not represent COVID best practices.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.