Everyone desires the bright, megawatt smile sported by Hollywood celebrities. Still, not everyone has teeth like that or can afford to get veneers (that’s the secret behind those picture-perfect teeth). So, they ask, “Is teeth whitening a better option? How long does teeth whitening last?
While veneers are expensive and unnecessary (you have to grind down your existing teeth to attach them), teeth whitening is a far better and more economical alternative if it lasts long.
It all depends on whether you get your teeth whitened professionally or plan to use a DIY kit or home remedy. Home remedies tend to last less long and can even damage your teeth if performed improperly.
The lifespan of a professional teeth whitening depends on the type of bleaching or whitening agent used by your cosmetic dentist. Let’s explore how long does teeth whitening last in greater detail below.
Why You May Need Teeth Whitening?
Once our permanent teeth finally come in, they are usually white. Yet, they may not seem as pearly bright as the ones in the toothpaste commercials. That’s because the teeth in those pictures are edited to look extra bright.
Your teeth have a natural base color and brightness that compliments you perfectly and looks natural. Sometimes whitening your teeth to a bright white can make you look artificial. That’s why it’s best to get your teeth professionally whitened by a cosmetic dentist who will provide you with a brighter smile while making sure your smile looks natural.
One of the things that are unavoidable as you age is your teeth turning yellow or dull. This discoloration usually happens due to one or more of the following factors:
Poor Dental Hygiene
Failing to brush regularly, i.e., twice daily or floss at least once a day, can lead to plaque formation, discoloration, and even tooth decay.
As you age, your enamel gradually wears away, making your teeth look brown or yellow.
Gum disease or other conditions that damage the tooth enamel cause stains and spots on your biters.
Strong Medications and Mouthwashes
Some medicines and mouthwashes can also damage and discolor teeth.
Missing Dental Check-Ups and Cleaning
There’s a reason why you’re supposed to show up for regular dental checkups and cleaning every 6 months. Your dentist examines your mouth thoroughly to ensure that no problems have developed, i.e., cavities, tooth decay, periodontal disease, etc. They will also give you a dental cleaning to remove any plaque build-up and keep your teeth bright, clean, and shiny.
You can’t fight genes. Some people just inherit teeth with a thicker or whiter enamel and end up with a bright smile. Similarly, some are born with naturally yellow teeth. You should take good care of them and not weaken them by bleaching them too frequently.
Severe Dental Trauma
In some rare cases, dental trauma can break or even discolor teeth.
Some stains, such as those caused by smoking and drinking, can set in deep and become very difficult to remove. The ones caused by dental conditions require the underlying disease to be treated first.
Meanwhile, common stains can be removed using professional or over-the-counter teeth whitening products. Yet the question remains, “How long does teeth whitening last?”
What are the Different Ways of Teeth Whitening?
The most popular over-the-counter teeth whitening products include:
- Whitening toothpaste
- Teeth whitening gel
- Whitening strips
- Bleaching products
- Baking soda (You can sprinkle baking soda powder on your toothpaste before brushing or apply a mixture of ½ tsp. baking soda and water to your teeth and rinse after 2-3 minutes to whiten them.)
- Hydrogen peroxide
Using these products requires patience, as it may be several weeks before you see visible results. These products are also best for regular stains but will be ineffective against the ones caused by disease or trauma.
Teeth whitening gels and strips typically use peroxide to whiten your teeth; the results usually last for around 4 months. Be careful of using them too frequently or using products with a high peroxide content, as it wears away the enamel and causes tooth sensitivity.
The same goes for baking soda. Frequent use can weaken your teeth’s enamel and cause extra sensitivity.
In the case of a professional teeth whitening performed by a dentist, you get superior results as a dentist uses more effective products than you can find over the counter. They also ensure that the bleaching agents don’t harm the soft tissue in your mouth, such as your gums, or damage your teeth.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
We know that it’s frustrating to hear it, but the matter of how long does teeth whitening last, depends on several factors, including your oral hygiene and eating habits:
- Habits like smoking or chewing tobacco stain your teeth much faster.
- Dark liquids like coffee, tea, and red wine can stain your teeth much quicker.
- Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once daily can help keep your teeth white for longer.
Depending on the method of whitening used and how good care you take of your teeth, the effects can last from 6 months to 2-3 years.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last: What to Eat or Avoid After Treatment
If you are fond of foods or beverages that tend to stain teeth, you should try to avoid them or reduce your consumption. The items that you should try to limit are:
- Tea, coffee, red wine, tomato juice
- Acidic beverages like carbonated drinks and alcohol
- Foods that are high in sugar
- Items like drinks or candies with a high amount of food coloring
- Staining foods like beetroot, berries, etc.
Some food which you should consume for brighter teeth are –
- Strawberries contain malic acid, a tooth-whitening enzyme, which can do wonders for your smile. Since they are natural and rich in nutrients, you can chew them to enjoy good health and a bright smile.
- One of the few foods that contain the enzyme bromelain is Pineapples. Bromelain works as a natural stain remover and can assist in eliminating plaque from the surface of your teeth. So adding pineapples to your diet is also a good idea for getting a brighter smile.
- Papaya contains papain which works to remove plaque and remove stains.
- The lactic acid in Milk also helps to lighten your enamel.
Why It’s Best to Get Your Teeth Whitened by the Experts at Osseo Family Dental
If you’re still wondering, “How long does teeth whitening last?” The experts at Osseo Family Dental will be more than happy to answer all your queries.
We say you’re better off with professional teeth whitening if you want to get the maximum benefit from a tooth-whitening treatment while ensuring it’s safe for your teeth and gums.
This is because dentists can access whitening treatments with a higher concentration of the active agents necessary to whiten your teeth. You’ll get results more quickly than if you use at-home kits or whitening strips.
Also, be aware that any kinds of toothpaste and rinses that claim to have whitening properties are not any more effective than ones that aren’t marketed for whitening use.
We at Osseo offer customized teeth whitening treatments using trays that are made to fit precisely over your teeth and along your gums. The strips that are sold in stores are one-size-fits-all. Additionally, your custom tray will hold the exact amount of the active ingredients needed and keep it from getting on your gums and irritating them. Call us at:(763) 425–2626 to book your teeth whitening appointment today!