How Teeth Whitening Works, How Long It Lasts, and the Best Ways to Keep Your Teeth White

Who doesn’t want white teeth? When it comes to our teeth, the visual is almost as important as our dental health, but if you’ve never had a whitening treatment, you may have some questions.

  • How does a teeth whitening treatment work?
  • How long do they last?
  • How do you keep your results after whitening treatment?

These are all things you probably want to know regarding teeth whitening services. The answers to these questions depend on the option you choose and how well you take care of your teeth afterward.

This article will discuss how getting your teeth professionally whitened works, how long each of the most common options lasts, and the best aftercare tips and tricks to maintain white teeth!

Different Whitening Treatment Options

There are three main types of treatments you can use to have your teeth whitened and get the pearly whites you’ve always dreamed of. You can go to a dentist in-office, do it yourself at home with a professional kit, or purchase an over-the-counter option.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

In-office teeth whitening is the most popular, most expensive, and quickest type of teeth whitening treatment. This is a professional teeth whitening treatment done by a dentist in an office and usually takes about an hour to complete.

In-office teeth whitening treatments use a powerful bleaching agent to lighten your teeth. The bleaching agent is applied to your teeth and then activated with a special light or sometimes heat. After this cosmetic dental treatment, your teeth immediately appear whiter.

Professional Teeth Whitening Done at Home

At-home teeth whitening is the most common treatment used to whiten teeth. Even though it’s done at home, it is considered a professional whitening option because the supplies must come from your dentist. They use a weaker bleaching agent, which is less expensive than in-office treatments. At-home teeth whitening can be done with a kit purchased from your dentist’s office.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

Over-the-counter products are the least expensive option for whitening treatments, but they also tend to be the least effective and take the longest to see results. These products can be purchased at most drugstores or pharmacies and usually come in the form of toothpaste, gels, rinses, or strips. Over-the-counter whitening treatments use a weaker bleaching agent than what is used in dentist’s offices and at-home treatments.

How Long Will the Treatment Last?

Getting your teeth whitened is only part of the process. The length of time that the treatment will last is just as important and will vary, depending on the type of treatment you receive and how well you take care of your teeth afterward. Your lifestyle habits, like smoking or drinking coffee daily, play a big part in the effectiveness and longevity of your whitening results.

In-office professional treatment may last between one and three years. Most patients only require one visit to see noticeable and smile-worthy results.

At-home professional options can have noticeable results that will give you a white smile in about a week, with maximum results taking anywhere from two to four weeks. When combined with good oral hygiene and professional cleaning every six months, these results can last for over a year.

Over-the-counter whitening treatments can take anywhere from one to two months to see any noticeable changes in your smile. Not only does this option take the longest, but the results will only last about three months.

Which type of teeth whitening is best for you?

Now that you know how whitening works, the different types of treatments available, and how long each of these options lasts, it is time to decide which treatment is best for you.

In-office whitening is the best option if you are looking for quick and professional results with the longest-lasting effect. You’ll have no doubts going into your appointment that you’re going to come out with a dazzling white smile!

At-home teeth whitening is the best option if you are looking for more affordable and convenient treatments. With this type of treatment, you will have the ability to achieve excellent results in the comfort of your own home.

Over-the-counter treatments are a short-term option that could end up costing you more time and money in the long term to get results you’re happy with. Not to mention, the whitening results will not be professional-grade like the in-office or at-home treatment options.

How to Keep Your Teeth White After a Teeth Whitening Treatment

Once you have completed your preferred treatment, you want to keep your teeth white… right? Try out some of these simple tips and tricks to maintain your results after your whitening treatment!

  • Avoid consuming too many dark-colored drinks that will stain your teeth, like coffee, red wine, dark sodas, fruit juice, and black tea, as well as eating certain foods like dark chocolate, soy sauce, and other dark-colored sauces that can stain teeth. If you can’t imagine life without your morning coffee or red wine with your dinner, try rinsing with water afterward to avoid surface stains on your whitened teeth.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a whitening toothpaste that contains fluoride instead of regular toothpaste. Also, try to spend at least two full minutes when you brush your teeth to avoid plaque build-up.
  • Make sure to floss daily to get into those hard-to-reach places your toothbrush might miss. You don’t want to leave any food particles behind that could stain your teeth.
  • Add mouthwash to your daily dental routine. Not only will it keep your breath fresh, but it helps keep your teeth white too!
  • Eat foods that aid in saliva production to prevent staining (i.e., apples, celery, and carrots). This will help you have a whiter smile even longer, especially because these foods don’t stain your teeth.
  • If you are a smoker, quit smoking asap. Not only is it very bad for your overall health, but it will also re-stain that perfect smile you just spent time and money on!
  • Visit your dentist for professional cleanings at least twice a year to maintain good oral health, helpful tips, and a bright, beautiful smile.

What to Remember When Whitening Your Teeth

It’s important to remember that all of these whitening options have a shelf life. Even if you go the in-office route, your bright smile will eventually start to fade and need a touch-up. If you want whiter teeth with less maintenance that will last several years, an in-office visit will give you the results you’re looking for almost immediately.

Make sure to always consult with your dentist before choosing a treatment option. If you think in-office whitening may be a good choice for you, schedule an appointment with the best dentist in Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch!