Whiter and cleaner-looking teeth can boost someone’s confidence and self-esteem. That is why teeth whitening treatments became one of the most in-demand dental aid nowadays. In-chair teeth whitening can remove the stains and unwanted color in the teeth with just one session. But how long does teeth whitening last? The answer to this question depends on several factors that affect the color of your teeth.
Causes of Teeth Discoloration
Before we proceed to the discussion of the sustainability of teeth whitening treatment, let us first figure out the most common cause of teeth discoloration. The reason why teeth discoloration occurs can be identified with three different classifications; extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related causes.
Extrinsic discoloration is caused by alien factors that come across the teeth. Intrinsic discoloration is caused by the natural elements inside the body. Age-related discoloration accounts for the changes in the color of the teeth due to aging.
- Tobacco. Tobacco consists of nicotine that causes the discoloration of the teeth. To prevent the extreme stain from happening, regular brushing of teeth is highly recommended.
- Foods/Drinks. Foods and beverages with strong and bright colors such as coffee, wine, soda, watermelon, carrots, and green vegetables also contribute to teeth discoloration.
- Medications. Some drugs have side effects on the teeth as well. Antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline have proven to be a huge contributor to teeth discoloration in children.
- Dental substances. Several dental materials such as Cavit, Dycal, gutta-percha, and IRM can also induce stain on the teeth. Consult your dentist right away if this occurs.
- Oral products. Oral products are specifically formulated to help in maintaining the health of the teeth. However, excessive use of these merchandises can also result in discoloration.
- Trauma. Children are more susceptible to dental trauma because of their clumsiness and everyday risk of falling and going out of balance. In the worst cases, this scenario could end up in dental trauma and result in discoloration.
- Periodontal Disease. Dental diseases do not only affect the structure of the teeth but of the color as well. When the enamel of the teeth gets compromised, several complications may occur which may also involve staining.
As we grow older, the enamel (outermost layer) of our teeth gradually fades away. This then leads to the exposure of the dentin which is typically grayish or yellowish in color.
Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment
Professional teeth whitening treatments guarantee the removal of the teeth stains and visible smile brightening results with just one session. This is the most effective and cost-efficient solution to drastic teeth discoloration that cannot be resolved by over the counter whitening products. Oftentimes, the procedure can take from 60 up to 90 minutes to finish.
Teeth Whitening Procedure
First and foremost, the dentist will conduct an examination of the overall condition of your teeth. During this phase, he or she will determine if you are qualified for a whitening treatment or if you need to undergo certain dental treatments before undertaking teeth whitening treatment.
Second, if you passed the initial screening, the dentist will keep a record of the current status of the color of your teeth. This will be used to compare the before and after colors of your teeth.
Third, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned to remove plaque and tartar. It is important that your teeth are polished and cleaned before inducing any whitening materials into it.
Fourth, certain dental materials will be used to keep your teeth moisture-free. Your gumline will also be protected from the substances with a dental barrier.
Fifth, after everything is put in place, your outer teeth will be covered with a whitening solution. This solution is made of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, both serve as a bleaching agent that diminishes the stain on the surface of the teeth.
Sixth, professional teeth whitening uses a laser or a device that can amplify the effects of the teeth whitening solution that will be placed on the mouth. The dentist will let the tool do its magic for at least 30 minutes. The reapplication of the solution will take place twice or more until the desired color of the teeth is achieved. The entire whitening process could take 90 minutes of your time.
Lastly, fluoride will be applied to the teeth to maximize the results of the whitening procedure and protect the teeth after the whitening treatment. Depending on the initial condition and severity of the stain of your teeth, several follow up visits might be recommended.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
Are the teeth whitening results permanent? The answer is no. The effects of the whitening treatment could last from several months up to three years. Frankly speaking, how long it lasts depends on how you take care of your teeth regularly and your habits.
Your lifestyle, food intake, medication, and general health play a huge role in keeping your teeth stain-free. With proper oral care, the whitening effects could last for a long time.
Poor dental hygiene and improper mouth care could easily defy the teeth whitening procedure. Hence, making the results last for a shorter period of time.
Teeth Whitening Aftercare
If you want the results of your teeth whitening treatment to last long, several aftercare methods are recommended. This includes the following:
- Avoid constant consumption of dark and bright colored foods. Generally speaking, foods that can stain a white shirt are strictly prohibited for the next 2 days after the procedure.
- Maintain proper oral health care. To secure the whiteness and cleanliness of your teeth, proper oral care is a must. Whether we went through a teeth whitening treatment or not, dentists suggest that we keep our dental health in great condition by doing the following:
1. Regular brushing of teeth.
2. Daily flossing.
3. Using mouthwash or mouth rinse.
- Be fluoride conscious. Make sure that the oral products that you are using have fluoride ingredients to help keep your teeth strong and cavity-free.
- Visit your dentist regularly. It is suggested that we pay a visit to our dentist at least twice a year to make sure that our dental health is in check and that no periodontal diseases are about to come-up. Most clinics have a booking software that you can book an appointment online.
- Take advantage of touch-up treatments. Touch-up whitening treatments are often cheaper and take a shorter time to finish compared to the actual teeth whitening treatment. If you wish to keep that bright smile of yours, consider touch-up whitening treatments.