A bright, white smile can boost your confidence and make you feel more attractive. That’s why teeth whitening has become increasingly popular over the years. If you’re considering teeth whitening, you may wonder how long the effects will last. After all, you don’t want to invest time and money into a procedure that only provides temporary results.
We’ll explore the types of teeth whitening treatments available, factors that can impact the longevity of your teeth whitening treatment, as well as some tips for maintaining a dazzling smile over the long term. So, let’s dive in and find out how long teeth whitening really lasts!
Types of Teeth Whitening
There are various types of teeth whitening treatments available to give you a brighter smile, ranging from over-the-counter products to professional treatments. Over-the-counter products include whitening toothpaste, strips, gels, or trays. These products often have a lower concentration of whitening agents and may take longer to achieve the desired results.
Professional treatments, on the other hand, are usually done at a dental office and involve a higher concentration of whitening agents that penetrate more deeply into the tooth enamel. These treatments may include in-office bleaching, custom-fitted whitening trays, or laser whitening. It is important to consult with a dental professional to determine which type of teeth whitening treatment is best suited for your individual needs.
In-Office Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure is performed by a dental professional to improve the appearance of discolored or stained teeth. There are several different methods of professional teeth whitening, but most involve using a concentrated bleaching agent that is applied to the teeth.
The most common type of professional teeth whitening is known as in-office tooth whitening. This involves applying a high-concentration hydrogen peroxide gel to the teeth, which is activated by a special light or laser. The process typically takes about an hour, and patients can see a noticeable improvement in the shade of their teeth immediately.
At-Home Professional Whitening Kits
Another option for professional teeth whitening is to use custom-fitted trays that are made by a dental professional. This ensures that the bleaching gel is evenly distributed and provides maximum whitening results. These trays are filled with a lower-concentration bleaching gel and worn by the patient for a specified period of time, usually a few hours a day for several weeks.
One of the main benefits of at-home teeth whitening kits is convenience. You can whiten your teeth whenever it’s most convenient for you, without having to schedule an appointment with a dental professional.
In-office teeth whitening treatments can be quite expensive, whereas at-home kits are often much more affordable. This makes professional-level teeth whitening accessible to a wider range of people looking for a whiter smiler.
Over-the-Counter Whitening Products
Over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products are products that are available for purchase at most drugstores and can be used at home to whiten teeth. They are a cheaper alternative for people who don’t want to pay the higher price for an in-office treatment. These products typically contain a lower concentration of bleaching agents than professional-level products, but can still be effective at removing surface stains and providing whiter teeth.
Whitening strips are thin, flexible strips that are coated with a bleaching gel. They are applied to the teeth and worn for a specified period of time, usually around 30 minutes, once or twice a day. Whitening strips can be effective at removing some tooth discoloration and improving the overall shade of teeth. You should exercise caution when using whitening strips, as they can sometime cause tooth pain and sensitivity if they are worn too long or too often.
Whitening gels are made with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. They are applied to the teeth using a tray or applicator that is worn for a specified period of time, usually around 30 minutes, once or twice a day. They are similar to at-home professional whitening kits, but the trays are generic, whereas the professional kits include custom-made trays that are specifically fitted for each patient’s mouth. Additionally, the bleaching agent used in over-the-counter gels is less concentrated than the gel used in professional kits, so they won’t remove deep teeth stains as well.
Whitening toothpaste contains abrasive particles or chemical agents that help to remove surface stains from teeth. While they can help to improve the overall appearance of teeth, they generally do not produce dramatic whitening results.
How Effective is Tooth Whitening and How Long Does it Last?
In-office and at-home professional whitening treatments can give you a bright smile that is up to 9 shades whiter and will last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the individual. The longevity and effectiveness of OTC teeth whitening products can vary widely and may last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the product and the individual.
There are several factors that will contribute to how effective your teeth whitening treatment is and how long it will last.
- Type of Whitening Treatment Used: Professional whitening will not only remove tooth stains better than over-the-counter products, but the effects will last much longer since dental professionals can use stronger bleaching solutions.
- Intrinsic Stains vs. Extrinsic Stains: There are different types of tooth discoloration, and some stains are easier to remove than others. Extrinsic stains are surface stains that are caused by diet and lifestyle habits such as using tobacco products or drinking coffee or other dark-colored beverages. Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, are stains that are beyond the surface of the teeth and usually caused by genetics, certain medications, or dental trauma. Intrinsic stains are much harder to remove than surface stains.
- Diet: If you consume a lot of highly pigmented foods and beverages, your teeth will stain more quickly, no matter what type of whitener you use. If you drink coffee or red wine on a regular basis, be sure to drink plenty of water and brush your teeth afterward.
- Lifestyle Habits: Other lifestyle habits like smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products can contribute to discolored teeth over time. If you are a smoker, your teeth whitening results will fade much more quickly.
- Oral Hygiene Habits: Good oral health and dental hygiene habits can prolong the life of your whitening treatment. Be sure to brush and floss daily in order to keep your teeth clean and your smile bright!
Ways to Prolong Teeth Whitening
Adina Family Dental Care offers a number of cosmetic dentistry treatments, including professional teeth whitening options. Contact us today for a brighter, whiter smile!