Incorporating tooth whitening into your orthodontic cases

Queens Award-winning DB Orthodontics prides itself on helping clinicians creating dream smiles with an array of aesthetic products, including Autograph whitening. Autograph is the perfect way to complete a smile journey, boost practice income, and keep patients coming back for more with add-on products.

Here is our round-up of top tips useful for orthodontists and dentists looking to increase their whitening treatments.

By encouraging the whole team to discuss tooth whitening with patients from day one, tooth whitening can easily become a normal occurrence in-practice. Let’s start with the first appointment…

Figure 1: Autograph Smiles from DB Orthodontics provides a beautifully packaged one-stop shop for aligners and whitening

Take the tooth shade at new patient consultations

Make taking a shade of patients teeth at the new patient consultation routine. This often prompts discussion and gives the patient an opportunity to ask questions about tooth whitening.

Ask open questions such as: ‘What has brought you in today?’ ‘What concerns you about your teeth?’ and ‘What would you do to improve your teeth?’

Almost all patients will say they wish their teeth were whiter. Always ask if they have tried whitening treatments before and their experience. This will help guide the patient and clinician to make the correct treatment decision.

It’s important to realise that any form of tooth whitening treatment should not be carried out without a thorough history and oral examination, including special investigations such as radiographs and vitality testing.

Result achieved using 16% carbamide peroxide Autograph tooth whitening over three weeks. Clinical Images courtesy of Dr Adam Jowett.

Shade taking

Among the many different shade guides available, the original Vita shade guide is a popular brand and is arranged either in order of hue or brightness.

When using the Vita shade guide, it is important to remember that each letter represents the following hues: A= orange, B= yellow, C= yellow grey, D= brown grey. This can be useful when selecting the most appropriate shade for a patient.

Alternatively, the shade guide can be arranged in order of brightness, organising from B1 (the brightest), to C4, which is the darkest. The higher the number on the shade tab, the higher the chroma. The lower the number, the higher the value.

Always take a photograph with the starting shade tab visible before treatment

Taking an initial photograph with the starting shade tab in place (allowing visualisation of the shade itself) allows you to take the end photograph to show the end result and difference in brightness (Figures 4 and 5).

Figures 4 and 5: Before and after photos taken with starting shade tab. Clinical Images courtesy of Dr Adam Jowett.

Show a comparison at the end of treatment

Photographing the patient at the end using the same shade tab from the start, and then the new corresponding shade tab.

Manage patient expectations

Many patients now all have smartphones and use whitening filters on their photos to brighten their teeth. This is creating an unrealistic expectation among patients and is something we all need to manage.

It is important to inform patients that sometimes, real-life results do not match up to the effects of digital filters.

Streamline your branding and inventory

The step from aligners to tooth whitening is made seamlessly simple with the Autograph Whitening range of products. Initially launched as an aligner brand in 2014, Autograph now features beautifully packaged and clinically proven products, including:

  • Syringe kits and top up packs in 10% and 16% carbamide peroxide
  • 6% hydrogen peroxide whitening wands, needing no refrigeration
  • Tailored whitening tray bundles
  • A fully digital UK-based aligner service
  • A full marketing package of display and digital items
  • Promotional free gifts.

Autograph Whitening was developed with a premium look to reflect the quality of the treatments. Designed with environmentally friendly gift style boxes with silver foil logo and rope handled bags, the range encompasses everything you need – from aligner presentation boxes to tray storage carry cases, and even aligner care products.

Go to town with display and marketing

Displays are still a key element in practice, and Autograph provide a variety of materials to create interest. From desk banners, to floor-standing banners, canvases, balloons, and complementary sunglasses, there are plenty of options to grab attention and make a statement at your next wedding fayre or whitening open day.

Get your practice name seen

Be seen in bathrooms and powder rooms with branded whitening wands featuring your practice logo. The Autograph Whitening Wand contains 6% hydrogen peroxide and can be kept at room temperature; making it perfect for wash bags and hand bags.

Branded whitening wands are a great way to get your name out in the community. Image courtesy of Dr Emma Laing.

Image courtesy of Allstar Orthodontics.

Get in touch

Find out more about the Autograph Smiles range, and any upcoming lectures from DB Orthodontics by emailing the DB team via, or call 01535 656 999.