How Long Does It Take To Whiten My Teeth
We have compiled this article on “How Long Does It Take To Whiten My Teeth”. The reference links are at the bottom of the article.
Tooth whitening has become one of the most frequently requested dental procedures by the public. The public has come to demand whiter, more perfect smiles and in response many choices for tooth whitening have been made available. These include home-based products such as toothpastes, gels, and films, as well as in-office based systems where products containing highly concentrated bleaching agents are applied under professional supervision. The profession and public have been aware of certain risks related to tooth whitening such as increased tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation. New research has shown that there are other risks such as tooth surface roughening and softening, increased potential for demineralization, degradation of dental restorations, and unacceptable color change of dental restorations. The new research is also focused on optimizing whitening procedures to reduce tooth sensitivity and to increase the persistence of the whitening.
There are many teeth whitening systems and products, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays, and whitening products you get from a dentist.
Teeth whitening is ideal for people who have healthy, unrestored teeth (no fillings) and gums. Individuals with yellow tones to their teeth respond best. But this cosmetic procedure is not recommended for everyone.
It’s never been easier to brighten your smile at home. There are all kinds of products you can try: rinses, gels, chewing gum, toothpastes, and strips.
If you decide to try whitening at home, the American Dental Association suggests that you talk with your dentist first, especially if you have:
- Sensitive teeth
- Dental restorations
- Very dark stains or a single dark tooth
- Lots of fillings or crowns
Choose a product with a peroxide level in the middle of that range. If the product doesn’t bother your mouth but doesn’t give the lightening effect you want, you can choose a higher level. If you have any questions, your dentist can help you find the whitener that best fits your needs.
All toothpastes remove surface stains because they contain mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. You might spend $1 to $20, though any prices may vary.
Whitening toothpastes remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach; over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide that lightens the color deep in the tooth. Whitening toothpastes can lighten the tooth’s color by about one shade. In contrast, prescription strength whitening conducted in your dentist’s office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.
Whitening gels are clear, peroxide-based gels applied with a small brush directly to the surface of your teeth. Instructions vary depending on the strength of the peroxide. Follow the directions on the product carefully. Initial results are seen in a few days, and final results last about 4 months. A full course takes between 10 and 14 days. You may need to apply them twice a day. You can buy whitening strips and gels from your pharmacy, dentist, or online for around $10 to $55.
Whitening strips are very thin, virtually invisible strips that are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. The strips should be applied according to the instructions on the label. Initial results are seen in a few days, and final results last about 4 months.
Among the newest whitening products available are whitening rinses. Like most mouthwashes, they freshen breath and reduce dental plaque and gum disease. But these products also include ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide in some, that whiten teeth. Manufacturers say it may take 12 weeks to see results. You just swish them around in your mouth for 60 seconds twice a day before brushing your teeth. However, some experts say that rinses may not be as effective as other over-the-counter whitening products. Because a whitening rinse is only in contact with the teeth for such a short time — just 2 minutes a day compared to 30 minutes for many strips — it may have less of an effect. To give whitening mouthwashes a boost, some people rinse first and then brush their teeth with a whitening toothpaste. Be ready to spend around $5 per bottle.
Follow directions. Don’t leave the strips or gels on longer than the directions say, or you might wind up with sore gums and set yourself up for other problems. After you whiten, avoid soda, sports drinks, or other acidic beverages for a couple of hours to protect your teeth.
Protect sensitive teeth. Your teeth may be a little sensitive after you whiten, but it’s usually brief. It might be less of an issue if your teeth and gums are in good shape. If it bothers you, stop the treatment and talk to your dentist. Gel-filled trays, which you wear over your teeth like a mouth guard, can also bother your gums if they don’t fit well. It’s a good idea to stop using the product if you start having this problem.
Don’t overdo it. How much whitening is too much? If you follow a product’s directions and get a good result, a once-a-month touch-up session is usually enough. When your teeth reach a shade you like, you’ll need to repeat the multiple bleaching sessions twice a year or less.
How Long Does It Last?
The length of time you can expect tooth whitening to last is based upon the type of whitener you’re using. Your 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.
Keep in mind that the degree and type of tooth discoloration or stain you have matters. There are two types of tooth stains:
intrinsic (internal): caused by aging, trauma, infection, and medication. These deep, internal stains are harder to eliminate but can be removed, given the right type of treatment.
extrinsic (external): caused by food, cigarette smoke, and drink. Most whiteners only work on extrinsic stains.
Here are some of the most popular whitening treatments and how long they last.
If you use a whitening toothpaste twice daily, it may take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks before you see any results. Users say these results can last for up to 3 or 4 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
- carbamide peroxide
- mild abrasives
Toothpastes that only contain abrasives tackle surface stains and can’t change the internal color of teeth. Those that contain peroxide can whiten teeth and remove stains to varying degrees.
You may be able to prolong these effects if you continue to use whitening toothpaste. But some people are sensitive to the ingredients and find that their gums or teeth become uncomfortable with prolonged use. Many toothpastes containing abrasives are also not meant for long-term use.
Long-term use of whitening toothpaste may thin tooth enamel. If you plan to use whitening toothpaste long term, try alternating with a toothpaste designed to protect and strengthen enamel.
It may take up to 3 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 staining.
Whitening mouthwash may be most effective when used to prolong the effect of other treatments, such as in-office whitening or whitening strips. When used alone, its effects are not dramatic, or long-lasting.
Whitening strips vary in the number of treatments needed before you see results. Some strips provide superior results, which can last for up to 6 months.
Whitening strips are one of the most effective over-the-counter treatments for whitening teeth at home. Some brands are easier to use and more effective than others. Some use LED accelerator lights to provide more intense stain removal.
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.
Whitening pens take from 2 days up to a week. They provide minimal results that are usually not long-lasting.
Whitening pens are small, plastic tubes containing whitening gel that are transportable and used for spot stain removal. The gel washes away easily, so you can’t eat, drink, or rinse your teeth for about an hour after application.
Thank you for reading this article, and check back frequently for other dental health articles. Should you have any questions, please contact Apple Tree Dental today!
Article compiled by Apple Tree Dental
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