Teeth colour varies amongst all individuals and is determined by a mixture of genetics, internal stains, and external stains. Internal stains can be in the form of coloured patches (e.g. fluorosis patches) or discolouration from trauma or root canal treatment while external stains can arise from dark-coloured foods and drinks as well as smoking and medication.
There are various whitening techniques available to lighten the shade and improve the appearance of the teeth, ranging from toothpastes to take-home bleaching kits to in-chair treatment. All professional whitening products use hydrogen peroxide in high but safe dosages to prevent permanent damage to teeth and it has been proven to be an effective way to restore the smile of many people with stained, dull or discoloured teeth. These products cannot be bought in supermarkets or chemists or even online as strict health regulations prevent the sales of products with high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide.
While the quickest way to whiten teeth is done in-chair with the dentist, the most successful long term approach involves fabricating custom made trays into which the whitening gel is applied at home for a short period each day over a two to four week period. When both methods are used in combination, the results will be maximised and should be maintained for years to come!