ARC Dental Health

If you're considering options to make your smile whiter, you want to know if the investment is worth the cost. It's understandable - none of us want to throw our money away on something that won't work or disappears quickly.

But what you should understand is that when it comes to a teeth whitening treatment, the answer to the question "How long does teeth whitening last" depends on the kind of whitening product you choose and why your teeth lost their pearly whites, to begin with.

How Our Teeth Become Discolored

When our first teeth come in as babies, they're perfectly white and healthy. But as we eat and drink and develop unhealthy habits, these small changes add up to discolor teeth and cause dental problems.

With proper oral hygiene, you can avoid a lot of these issues and scrub away the organisms that would otherwise stain teeth. However, some people have genetic issues like weak tooth enamel or other causes that make it easier for tooth discoloration to occur.

Whether it's your daily coffee, red wine, or soda habits or another reason, you aren't happy with your current shade and you want to know how to whiten teeth in a way that lasts. In this guide, we'll break down the options you have, how each teeth whitening procedure works, and how to get the longest-lasting results.

Breaking Down Over the Counter Products

It's easy to find dozens of whitening products promising a bright smile immediately. But finding one that actually works and lasts is another story.

The first thing you should look for in any whitener is the seal of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). This emblem means that the level of whitening agent in the product should be safe for your tooth enamel and gums if you use the product as directed.

The problem is that it's easy to overdo or misuse a whitening toothpaste or other product when you're doing it yourself. You don't always understand the dangers, so you think it's no big deal to keep whitening strips or trays on a little longer than the directions state.

The Dangers of OTC Whitening Trays and Other Products

Any time you use a whitening product, the ingredient that actually gets rid of the teeth stains is a chemical. And we're taught from childhood not to put chemicals in our mouths!

The whitening chemicals in most products are ADA approved. They include hydrogen peroxide gel or carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient. Be careful to follow the instructions exactly in order to prevent damage to your enamel and gums.

How OTC Whitening Options Work

In small doses, a high-quality whitening agent like these peroxides gets rid of surface stains. Your teeth whitening results show up within a few hours or a few days, depending on the strength of the product.

But because they're only handling the surface discoloration, that whiter appearance can disappear fast.

Surface Stains Leave Easy, But They Come Back Fast

If you want your teeth to remain white, you have to be very diligent about what you eat and drink. Your lifestyle habits, like drinking coffee and red wine, or eating sugary foods, will have to disappear.

Otherwise, those at-home treatments, like whitening strips or a whitening gel tray, will only last for as long as you can keep your teeth clean, avoid those discoloring habits, and practice good oral hygiene to remove stains.

Having Your Teeth Professionally Whitened

The other option is a professional whitening treatment. These are performed in-office with a dentist visit. Because the dental professional has access to higher-grade whiteners, they can get below the surface stains and into the dentin. The ingredients must follow strict sourcing guidelines, so you can feel confident that when you're in the dentist's chair, you're getting the best professional whitening treatments available.

Dentin is the layer under your enamel that causes your teeth to become stained. When you want whiter teeth that last, an in-office treatment is the way to go.

What Happens in a Professional Teeth Whitening Session?

When you head to the cosmetic dentist for a professional teeth whitening treatment, you'll notice that you end up with a brighter smile in about an hour. Sure, it takes some time out of your day, but the length of time that the teeth whitening last compared to the OTC products makes this more efficient.

Depending on which dental clinic you go to and have your teeth whitened, there are different options. Some dentists offer laser teeth whitening sessions, while others use special polishing agents to get your teeth white.

Your dentist will talk to you about your whitening goals. There are usually around eight shades of white teeth levels to choose from. Once there's a plan in place for your cosmetic teeth whitening, the work begins!

What to Expect With In-Office Whitening Treatments

No matter which option you end up with, they all start with dental cleanings. This step ensures that your teeth are polished, smooth, and ready for the bleaching agents.

The next step will be protecting your gums and sensitive tissue from the bleaching agent. This is a normal step that keeps your soft tissue from coming into contact with the whitener.

The laser teeth whitening treatment is a special type of procedure that uses a concentrated bleaching gel applied to your teeth. The laser heats the gel, which serves to whiten your enamel.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last With a Professional Treatment?

This method keeps your teeth whiter for the longest time of all the options. Mouth rinses, whitening pens, and whitening toothpaste products have low levels of peroxide. You have to use them a long time before you get results, and they can damage your teeth and enamel.

Strips and trays work faster, but as soon as you stop the teeth whitening treatment, the surface of your enamel begins to discolor again.

Keep in mind that certain medications can discolor your teeth from the inside. If that's what happened to you, talk to your dentist about your options. Trying to whiten teeth that have been discolored from medication doesn't always work.

Schedule a Cosmetic Whitening Treatment Today

If you're not happy with your smile, it can affect your self-confidence and many of your relationships. Call your dentist and find out what your options are. You might realize that a professional teeth whitening treatment is easier than you think!

Privacy Policy