How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Affordable way to improve the look of your smile - Teeth Whitening

If you are looking for an easy and affordable way to improve the look of your smile, then you have probably come across teeth whitening. Teeth whitening can be practiced in the comfort of your own home with the use of over the counter products, or it can be provided to you by your local dental office. The main difference between the two options is that professional teeth whitening services are safer, yield better results, and work faster than over the counter teeth whitening remedies. 

Since in-office whitening treatments offer patients more dramatic results, it also makes these results last longer. In fact, various sources have found that teeth whitening results can last for about 3 years, however, many people experience results ending around the one year mark. To understand why professional teeth whitening lasts longer than at-home whitening, we need to take a look at how teeth whitening procedures work. For starters, professional teeth whitening uses a stronger concentration of whitening agent.

This whitening agent is then brushed onto the outer surface of your teeth and left in place for about 20 minutes before being rinsed off. Sounds simple, right? Here’s where it gets a little more technical. Once the whitening agent was applied, it begins to get absorbed by the enamel and dentin layers. The main ingredient sets off a chemical reaction that breaks apart the molecules on the colored molecules associated with staining. Although the whitener is rinsed after 20 minutes, the chemical reactions will continue to work for about 24 minutes after their application. 

This means that while you will notice results after your whitening procedure, the full effect is not often present until the day after. Your dentist will also recommend not consuming highly pigmented foods and beverages over the next 24 hours to get the best results. Why is this? Because the more new stains the whitener has to break down, the less existing stains wit will be able to remove. 

Those who practice over the counter whitening, however, do not experience the instant removal of stains and instead remove stains gradually over a period of time. Depending on what they consume during this time will determine what types of results they will get, as well as how long these results are able to last. 

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As a general rule, to keep whitened teeth looking as bright as possible, it is encouraged to eat more tooth-friendly foods such as vegetables, fruits, and cheese. You will also want to avoid or minimize highly colored foods and beverages to prevent staining your enamel. Substances such as tea, coffee, wine, pomegranates, beets, and colored condiments can easily stain your teeth. 

Finally, good oral hygiene is a must for preserving your results from teeth whitening procedures. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting your local dental office are all very important parts of extending the lifespan of your whitening treatment. 

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