How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
Teeth whitening is a popular dental procedure that enhance the appearance of smiles by reducing stains and discoloration. Although there are different methods for teeth whitening at home, it is more likely to achieve optimal results with the guidance of a professional dentist. One commonly asked question about this process is how long it remains effective.
The duration of teeth whitening’s effectiveness is influenced by various factors, including the specific treatment used, the quality of its application, lifestyle choices such as diet and smoking, and post-treatment dental care. Professional teeth whitening treatments usually maintain their effects for about six months to two years, while over-the-counter methods typically only yield noticeable results for several weeks.
How Long Does It Take to Whiten Teeth?
The success of your teeth whitening efforts depends on the method you choose. In-chair whitening, also known as in-office whitening, is a dental procedure that takes place at a dental clinic. It uses stronger concentrations of a whitening compound compared to other options. By choosing this method, in a single 1-2 hour session, administered by a dentist, significant whitening results can be achieved.
Custom-made mouth trays for whitening are an important component of at-home whitening kits, as they are designed to perfectly fit your mouth. The trays effectively hold the whitening substance, allowing for short intervals of wear throughout the day. The whitening agent in these trays has a mild strength, resulting in a gradual process that takes about 2-3 weeks to achieve the desired outcome.
Tooth whitening is not commonly achieved with most toothpaste options due to the lack of hydrogen peroxide, an essential ingredient that most toothpaste products do not contain.
Are there side effects from teeth whitening?
The use of active ingredients in tooth whitening products can cause sensitivity in teeth and gums. Fortunately, this undesirable side effect is typically temporary. However, individuals who find that long-term use of any whitening agents containing peroxide or abrasive substances may experience discomfort as a lasting effect.
Furthermore, it is important to consider the potential for encountering more serious complications, which may include:
- Gum burns and irritation: Gum burns and irritations are generally mild and temporary, and are more likely to occur when using gel trays at home or receiving chairside whitening. However, gum irritation can be prevented by ensuring that the gums are completely covered before treatment and using custom-fitted trays for the teeth.
- Gum whitening: For a short period of time, the color of the gums may fade due to a temporary occurrence, leading to a bleaching effect.
- Gastrointestinal irritation or distress: Consuming a teeth whitening substance may cause a warm sensation in your esophagus or mild discomfort in your abdominal area.
- Damage to tooth enamel or dentin: The current research does not have concrete conclusions about this matter. The use of whitening products that contain strong bleaching agents or abrasive substances may lead to the development of surface grooves on teeth and gradual erosion of enamel.
According to some users, if you experience any discomfort such as toothache, burning sensations, or extreme sensitivity during or after a whitening treatment, it is recommended to contact your dentist right away.
Under certain circumstances, the whitener may seep into a cavity or a cracked tooth, causing discomfort and requiring a visit to the dentist.
Teeth whitening aftercare tips
When adequately maintained, your teeth whitening treatment for professional purposes has the potential to endure for several years.
Learn these important aftercare tips that will help you prolong the effectiveness of your whitening treatment.
Right after your treatment
For a minimum of two days following your procedure, steer clear of any food or beverages that have the potential to leave stains on your teeth.
The following items are included:
- Red wine
- Tomato-based sauces
It is important to avoid smoking or using tobacco products as they can have negative effects on your respiratory system and can quickly undo the results of your teeth whitening procedure.
Brush your teeth regulary
It is important for one’s oral health and oral hygiene that they maintain a regular habit of brushing their teeth.
Regularly practicing daily oral hygiene helps to remove harmful bacteria and plaque that can cause tooth discoloration or staining.
Using a tooth whitening toothpaste endorsed by the American Dental Association can help maintain the luminous appearance of your teeth for a longer period of time.
If you choose a beverage that is known to cause stains, it might be a good idea to have a metal straw at hand.
Preventing tooth discoloration can be achieved by adopting this technique.