How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic procedures done in dentistry. And one of the most common questions that we get asked ALL the time is how long the results last?  There are many options for tooth whitening and the length of time that visible results can vary as well. So read on…..

 

Let’s take a look at the types of whitening treatment available;

  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Whitening pens
  • Whitening mouthwash
  • Whitening trays

 

Whitening strips: These are one of the easiest to whiten teeth .  Examples of whitening strips are Crest 3D White Glamorous white strips, Zimba Teeth whitening strips, etc. They contain very mild amounts of whitening agents so they are most effective for very mild discoloration or touch up treatment. They are not effective when stains are very dark or long standing. Relapse of the whitening is also relatively quicker.

 

Whitening toothpaste: These are used to easily and comfortably surface stains only. Examples of toothpaste that can be used are Tom’s of Maine Simply White Natural Toothpaste, Colgate Optic White Whitening Toothpaste, etc. However most of them work only with mechanical abrasion  – they scrape the stain away physically and not chemically. Most of them are quite abrasive – so must be used with caution – especially if the enamel is very thin. For effective whitening of the tooth, brush the teeth at least twice a day and make sure you brush them well. They can be quite effective on nicotine, tea and coffee stains however.

 

Whitening pens: These are small, thin, and portable plastic tubes that contain a whitening gel that helps to improve the teeth’ color by removing stains on the tooth. Unlike toothpaste, these whitening gels produce results quickly and brighten your smile but are only effective when used in small areas such as small nicks on the teeth where stains build up repeatedly.

 

Whitening mouthwash: This is one of the safest whitening treatments to use when considering teeth whitening because of the peroxide additive such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which is at a low concentration. This causes no harm to the teeth and oral tissues. It should be used 3-4 times a week for improvement, Whitening mouthwash with no alcohol in them is advised to be used as others that contain alcohol causes a drying effect and also lead to a dry mouth which might develop decay and cause tooth sensitivity. Examples are Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash, Crest 3D White Brilliance Whitening Mouthwash, Solimo Whitening Mouthwash, Supersmile Whitening PreRinse, etc.

 

Whitening Trays: These are made of flexible material that fits over your teeth. They usually take more time than other whitening options. There are options for daytime wear for about thirty minutes twice a day and others meant for overnight wear for a few nights.  Examples are Opalescence and Zoom by Phillips. They are by far the MOST effective whitening methods and also last the longest since the whitening gel works undisturbed by the saliva which dilutes most whitening processes.

 

How Effective are these whitening treatments;

Some factors make teeth whitening effect. Which are;

  • Discoloration of the teeth
  • The application process of the whitening treatments

There are different types of stains, some whitening instruments can whiten brown stains and not whiten yellow stains, it varies. The amount of time some of these whitening treatments use while applying them also matters a lot, it is advisable to check the prescription on the whitening treatment before using them.

 

Will Teeth whitening work on false teeth

No, Teeth whitening is only effective on living surfaces. False teeth are prosthetic and they include porcelain veneers.

 

Do I need to get whitening teeth?

If you would love to lighten the current shade of your teeth, then you should consider whitening your teeth. Here are some of the reasons why you need to whiten your teeth;

  • Special Occasions
  • Job interviews
  • Discoloration
  • Age
  • Smoking
  • To boost Self-Confidence
  • Diet choices

Side effects of the whitening treatment

  • Irritation
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks
  • Discomfort if you have a sensitive tooth
  • Inflammation of the teeth

Risks attached to Teeth whitening 

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Enamel erosion
  • Mucous membrane damage in the mouth
  • Dental root damage
  • Gum sensitivity

Ways to look after the teeth after whitening

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Avoid foods or drinks that can stain the teeth like coffee, tea, red wine, Dark chocolate, Fruit juices, Acidic foods like lemons, oranges, etc.
  • Teeth flossing is highly important
  • Use whitening toothpaste at least twice a week

Cost of teeth whitening 

The cost of teeth whitening varies in terms of procedure, professional, products, in-office, and the likes. Research has shown that professional teeth whitening costs more than others it also lasts longer than others. It is advisable to go for professional teeth whitening if you can afford it to save more money in the long run.