How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Teeth_Whitening When you’re thinking about spending some time and money to brighten your smile, it’s natural to wonder what the “return on investment” is. Teeth whitening treatments don’t last forever, so asking how long they last and how much maintenance is required between treatments is a sensible course of action.

Commonly, dental patients are told that teeth whitening procedures can last from six months to as long as two years if they care for their teeth properly. There are many factors that influence how long a teeth whiteningtreatment will keep your teeth shining bright. Some of the crucial ones include:

  • The type of whitening done – there are significant differences between teeth whitening done through an in-office treatment, a take-home treatment supervised by a dentist, and various over-the-counter products.
  • How much whitening agent reaches your teeth – in-office treatments apply the bleaching agent directly (but safely) onto the teeth. Other methods deliver the whitening through trays or strips.
  • What you eat and drink after the treatment – Brushing or rinsing the mouth with water after eating or drinking teeth-staining foods will help maintain the brighter shade.
  • How you treat your teeth generally – Drinking from a straw when you consume wine or tea will reduce staining on your teeth. Not smoking is also helpful.

Another question related to the longevity of a teeth whitening treatment is how much maintenance is required between treatments to keep teeth a consistent shade of white. Some dentists have compared this maintenance cycle to visiting a personal trainer – just as you wouldn’t expect great results at the gym if you only showed up four times a year and tried to do an intensive workout, teeth whitening must be viewed as an ongoing process. It’s possible to use take-home or over-the-counter whitening kits to “touch up” the shade of your teeth; the frequency of use recommended varies widely, from once a week to once a month or less. If you have questions about your maintenance regimen, or any other aspect of the teeth whitening process, consult with a qualified cosmetic dentist.

“Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure with an impact that is both financial and health-related,” says Dr. Carol Ford, who practices cosmetic dentistry in central Phoenix. “Discussing your personal goals with your cosmetic dentist can help you brighten your smile safely, as well as help you get the most for your money.”

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