Everyone loves a bright white smile but most people don’t have brilliant teeth. At-home whitening products such as strips or gels, or dental office procedures are some of the ways people brighten their teeth and reduce surface stains. At-home products may give minimal to great results that last for a few months. Professional dental procedures extend that time up to two to three years. Let me explain to you the effects of teeth whitening procedures and the products to consider and also let you know how long you can expect them to last and what you can do to prolong teeth whitening.
The first question would be how long does it last.
The length of time that you can expect the whitening to last is based on the type of whitener that you are using. Lifestyle habits also have an effect. Tooth whitening treatments are designed to reduce stains, not repel them. If you have good oral habits and keep your teeth clean, at-home products and dental procedures will last longer.
Number one is whitening toothpaste.
If you use a whitening toothpaste twice daily it may take anywhere from two to six weeks before you see any results. Users say these results can last for up to three to four months. Whitening toothpaste can be used every day or several times a week. They contain ingredients that polish or whiten teeth such as hydrogen peroxide, carbon peroxide, etc.
However mild abrasives toothpaste that only contains abrasives tackles surface stains and can’t change the internal color of the teeth. Those that contain peroxide can whiten teeth and remove stains to varying degrees. Many kinds of toothpaste that contains abrasives are also not meant for long-term use. Long-term use of whitening toothpaste may thin the enamel. If you plan to use the whitening toothpaste long-term, try alternating it with a toothpaste that is designed to strengthen and protect the enamel.
The second is the whitening mouthwash.
It may take up to three months before you see any effect from a whitening mouthwash. Whitening mouthwashes usually contain hydrogen peroxide. You can use a whitening mouthwash daily to help remove small degrees of surface stains. Whitening mouthwash may be most effective when used to prolong the effects of other treatments such as inner office whitening or whitening strips.
Number three is the whitening strips.
Whitening strips vary in the number of treatments needed before you see the results. Some strips provide superior results which can last for up to six months. Whitening strips are one of the most effective over-the-counter products for whitening teeth at home. Some brands are easier to use and more effective than others. Whitening strips use peroxide to bleach teeth and remove stains.
When used incorrectly or too often, they may be uncomfortable or harmful to teeth. When used correctly, high-quality brands of whitening strips can remove both extrinsic and mild intrinsic stains by bleaching teeth to make them whiter in color. You should start seeing the results in about a week, with maximum results seen in two to four weeks. The amount of whitening you see will vary based on the strength of the peroxide used, and the length of time worn when combined with proper oral hygiene.
Number four is the whitener supplied by the dentist.
It is stronger than the type used in over-the-counter products. Your dentist will supervise this treatment and guide you as to how long and how often you should use it. In some instances, you may need to keep the tray in your teeth for several hours or overnight daily for a week or longer.
Number five is chairside bleaching.
If you maintain good oral hygiene, a chairside procedure should provide long-lasting results from one to three years. This procedure is done in your dentist’s office and usually requires only one visit. This procedure uses a strong bleaching agent such as highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Heat or light may also be used to further accelerate the bleaching agent.
Number six is the walking bleach or non-vital tooth bleaching.
If you are concerned with a single discolored tooth and the tooth was darkened due to a previous root canal treatment, the dentist will open the tooth and place the whitening gel inside the canal to whiten the tooth. It may take a few days before the tooth changes color then you may return to your clinic to remove the whitening gel from the root canal.
And you may ask ‘are there side effects from teeth whitening?’
The active ingredients in the tooth whitener can cause sensitivity to surrounding teeth and gums. This is typically not long-lasting. Some people find that long-term use of any whitener with peroxide or abrasive is uncomfortable and there is also potential for more serious side effects including gum burns and irritation, and external root resorption.
The whitening gel from the root canal leaks into the surrounding gums and eats up the tooth, the gums may become bleached, lose their color for a short period or even the gastrointestinal irritation means if you swallow a whitening product you may feel a burning sensation in your throat or a mild stomach ache; damage to tooth enamel or dentin: thinning of enamel may occur from any type of whitener that uses strong bleaching solutions or abrasives, in some instances the whitener may get into a cavity or even a cracked tooth, causing significant pain and unnecessary dental visit.