People want their white smile that they got with a professional dental treatment to last. How long your beautiful, clean smile lasts depends on you.
Some of the answers lie with genetics but a big part depends on your personal habits. What you do matters when it comes to keeping your teeth white. Things like drinking dark liquids like coffee, tea, and red wine and eating foods that contribute to teeth stains like berries and beets will shorten your white teeth cycle.
One of the worst things you can do to destroy your white smile is smoke. Bad oral hygiene like irregular brushing will also lessen the time of teeth brightness.
How Long Can Teeth Whitening Last?
A good teeth whitening session by a professional dentist like those in our office can last up to three years with proper care. It can also last up to six months with some people. Most teeth whitening will last at least a year.
The Time Teeth Whitening Takes
The time it takes for your dentist to brighten and whiten your teeth depends on the method used. Most of the traditional methods take between one and two hours while the light activation cycle takes around an hour. Some high-tech methods can brighten up to several shades in 45 minutes.
Extending the Time of a White Smile
Dentists may give you an at-home whitening kit after doing a whitening session to help you maintain your smile or get them a shade or two brighter. These are mouth trays that are crafted by your dentist to fit your mouth so they are different from commercial at-home kits.
With the kits, a whitening agent is put into the trays. The substance given to you for the trays is a lower concentration of the whitening agent used by your dentist. You wear the trays daily for a brief time. You should see whitening results in two to three weeks.
You can follow up your bright smile by using whitening toothpaste. It isn’t that effective in whitening teeth but most dentists feel it works well for maintenance.
How Many Shades Can You Go?
The perfect shade of white for you depends on your teeth and the amount of staining on them. Your dentist will consult you about how white the treatment will make your teeth. Individual results are different but whitening will get you some noticeable results.
It may take several sessions to achieve the results you want. Remember that whitening doesn’t work on things like restorations or fillings so you may need to get those replaced if you go too far off your natural tooth color.
Which Option Should You Do?
People like to try at-home teeth whitening first to see if that gets them the results they want. There is nothing wrong with that. Both in-office and at-home whitening have advantages and disadvantages.
Two big factors that play a role in deciding which option is best are the severity of the yellowing and how fast a patient wants results.
Pros and Cons of In-office Whitening
A whitening procedure by a dentist will yield faster results. It can increase the number of shades you go with whiter teeth. It is more expensive and the whitening agent can affect those with sensitive teeth.
The upside is you will see results when you leave the dentists office. For some, it’s worth the extra money to see some brightness immediately.
Those who have deep stains would be best served by going to a dentist because at-home kits or other types of stain removal products only lessen surface stains.
An in-office visit can get rid of deeper stains in teeth. There are some new modern tech solutions that work well for those with deeply stained teeth.
Pros and Cons of At-home Whitening
At-home kits from your dentist are more affordable and produce less teeth sensitivity. They are convenient ad don’t take the amount of time that an in-office whitening session does. Trays can be reused too.
The disadvantages are it takes up to three weeks to achieve the shade you want. You must do it daily to get the results you want. A problem with at-home kits is that people can overuse them and that can make their teeth look strange. They can even look blue or translucent.
Most dentists will tell you to avoid an over-the-counter mouth tray because they don’t wrap around your teeth evenly so you won’t have an even whitening effect. Also, these types of kits can irritate and even burn your gums.
It’s always good to consult your dentist if you’re questioning what kind of whitening you should get for your teeth. Your dentist can tell you the severity of your teeth and which option may give you the best results.
One thing you don’t want to do is a process that breaks down the enamel on your teeth so be sure to look at instructions and how to use various products before trying a whitening solution.
You may start off using whitening strips or an at-home kit to see if you can achieve your white smile but the sure way to do it is with an in-office visit. Knowing a professional dentist is performing the whitening procedure should give you some peace of mind. You will also be guaranteed white teeth at the end of the visit so you know you will get results and you know it will last up to three years.