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Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural color of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surfaces. It cannot make a complete color change, but it may lighten the existing shade. Professional bleaching is the most usual method of tooth whitening. First a rubber shield or a gel is applied on your gums to protect them. They will then apply the whitening product to your teeth, using a specially made tray which fits into your mouth like a guard.
The ‘active ingredient' in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth color is made lighter. The process of tooth whitening lightens the color of a tooth. Tooth whitening can be achieved by either changing the intrinsic color or by removing and controlling the formation of extrinsic stains. There is now laser whitening or ‘power whitening'. During this procedure a rubber dam is put over your teeth to protect the gums, and a bleaching product is painted onto your teeth. Then a light or laser is shone on the teeth to activate the chemical. The light speeds up the reaction of the whitening product and the color change can be achieved more quickly. Laser whitening is said to make teeth up to five or six shades lighter.