What is teeth whitening?
Our teeth become more vulnerable to staining due to food and other substances we consume as we age. Food particles are naturally attracted to our tooth enamel, and products such as tea, wine, tobacco, coffee and even berries are notorious for staining teeth.
Some people who have had orthodontic treatment such as braces also experience tooth discolouration and decide to have their teeth whitened following treatment.
Many are choosing in-office and at-home teeth whitening procedures offered by their dentists to reverse effects of stains and aging. Professional whitening may help to improve your confidence in your smile.
Here, we'll explore how long the effects of teeth whitening may last, and what you can do to ensure your teeth remain white as long as possible after treatment.
How long will the effects of teeth whitening last?
Depending on whether you choose in-office teeth whitening or the at-home alternative, you'll want to keep in mind how long each are expected to last.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Though in-office teeth whitening has an immediate whitening effect on your smile due to a high concentration bleaching gel, it will not permanently whiten your teeth.
Because a dentist is performing your in-office teeth whitening treatment, it’s safe, reliable and non-invasive. Dentists screen teeth whitening patients to ensure their oral health doesn’t preclude them from being a candidate for the treatment.
However, after a time you’ll need to return for subsequent teeth whitening treatments. If you continually expose your teeth to foods or drinks that may cause them to stain, the whiteness of your teeth will likely begin to fade after a few months.
Provided you avoid these foods and drinks following your treatment, you may only require a touchup after about a year.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Using take-home teeth whitening products from your dentist’s office can help to fresh the effects of professional teeth whitening treatments - and you can do them in the comfort of your own home.
Most patients notice a difference within 10 to 14 days of starting to use their at-home teeth whitening kit. The full results usually appear by the end of the treatment period, and they tend to last significantly longer than teeth whitening treatments purchased from the store.
The results gleaned from at-home teeth whitening kits can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the treatment, its strength, how diligent you are about reapplying the gel, and other factors.
Of course, ensure you attend your regularly scheduled dental appointments, and that you maintain an excellent at-home oral health routine (including brushing and flossing daily).
A number of factors can influence how white your teeth look - and remain - after a teeth whitening treatment. The degree of whiteness varies from person to person depending on the:
- Condition of your teeth
- Level of staining before the teeth whitening procedure
- Type and strength of whitening treatment used
If you are curious about your teeth whitening options and which ones might work for you, speak with your dentist. You might also want to consider looking up teeth whitening reviews online to learn about other patients’ experiences.