Most people desire a perfect set of pearly white teeth and a bright smile, but not everyone is born with bright and white teeth. However, different teeth whitening treatments and products are available to improve the teeth shade to give you a perfect smile. Products like whitening gel, strips, and toothpaste, professional teeth whitening like chairside whitening will remove the surface stain and discolouration on your teeth.
Although these whitening products and treatments are effective, the result lasts for a few months to years. Home tooth whitening products can keep your teeth bright for a few months, while professional whitening procedures can last for about 2 – 3 years.
If you want to whiten your teeth, you should know the effect of whitening products and procedure on your teeth and how long each whitening treatment should last. As you read on, you’ll find this information and how you can prolong the effect of your treatment.
How long do teeth whitening last?
How long your whitened teeth will remain bright depends on different factors such as the type of treatment or product you use on your lifestyle. The treatments can remove the stains in your teeth, but they do not repel stains.
If you keep your teeth clean, practice good oral hygiene, the effect of your professional or at-home teeth whitening treatment will last longer.
Types of teeth stains
Two types of stains affect the teeth, and the degree and type of stain on your teeth determine the effectiveness of the whitening treatment.
- Intrinsic or internal stain
This type of stain results from infection, trauma, ageing, and medication. Internal stains are more difficult to remove. However, the right treatment can get rid of the stain.
- Extrinsic or external stain
This stain mostly results from cigarette smoke, drink and food. Most tooth whitening products can easily remove these stains
Common teeth whitening products
- Teeth whitening toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste removes stains on the teeth, but you need to use it at least twice daily for about 2 – 6 weeks to see the result. Your teeth can remain white for 3 – 4 months if you use the toothpaste correctly.
You can use your teeth whitening toothpaste daily or several times a week to improve the appearance of your teeth and smile. The toothpaste contains carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, and mild abrasives.
Whitening toothpaste containing only abrasives can only remove surface stains on the teeth and do not change the internal colour of the teeth, but those containing peroxides remove stains and whiten the teeth to some extent.
After using whitening toothpaste, your whitened teeth can remain bright for a longer time if you keep using the whitening toothpaste. However, some people experience teeth sensitivity and gum irritation with the prolonged use of whitening toothpaste. Some toothpaste with abrasives are not suitable for long-term use.
Using some whitening toothpaste for a long time may erode your enamel, so if you intend to use whitening toothpaste for a long time, ensure you also use toothpaste with enamel protection and strengthening property.
- Whitening mouthwash
You may have to use mouthwash for up to three months before you see the result. A whitening mouthwash contains hydrogen peroxide and can be used daily to remove surface stains.
Mouthwashes are more effective when you use them for a long time. You can also use them to ensure other treatments like whitening strips and chairside whitening, but the result does not last long when used alone.
- Whitening strips
Different teeth whitening strips are available with varying strength, so the number of treatments needed to have white teeth differ. Some strips provide a better result, and the effect can remain for about six months.
Generally, teeth whitening strips are among the most effective treatment at home, sold over-the-counter. Some strip brands are easy to use, while others use LED accelerators to remove intrinsic and extrinsic stains.
The strips contain peroxide, which removes teeth stains and bleach the teeth. When used correctly, the strips will give a lasting result, but they may damage your teeth when used incorrectly.
- Whitening pens
Teeth whitening pens can produce a result within 2 – 7 days. The effect of pens do not last long and may not remove all stains on the teeth.
The pens have plastic tubes which contain the whitening gel. Whitening pens are portable, and you can use them to remove spot stain. The whitening gel washes out from the teeth easily, so you would have to wait for about one hour before washing your teeth, eating or taking a drink.
- At-home teeth whitening trays
It takes about a week of using a whitening tray to see the result. Within 2 – 4 weeks, you would see the maximum result. The strength of the whitening gel used determines how long you would use your trays before your teeth become white.
If you combine a home-teeth whitening tray treatment supervised by your dentist with good oral hygiene, the whitening treatment result will last for more than a year.
You would visit a dentist to get a custom-made whitening tray and gel for use at home. The whitening gel is more effective than over-the-counter gels. Your dentist will instruct you on how to use the whitening tray and gel. Most times, dentists instruct patients to wear the trays for some hours every day or overnight for a week or more to get the best result.
- Chairside bleaching or in-office whitening
A chairside teeth whitening can last for 1 – 3 years if you have a good oral routine. An in-chair requires one whitening session. The dentist will use a strong bleaching agent, like concentrated carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide with light or heat to fasten the process.
What are the side effects of whitening teeth?
Hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in most products, may cause gum and teeth sensitivity, but this effect subsides after a few days.
Other serious side effects that rarely occur include the following.
- Gum irritation and burns
This side effect usually occurs from using trays or having an in-chair teeth whitening session. You can avoid this by covering the gums before treatment with custom-made trays. Gum irritation and burns are usually mild and last for only a couple of days.
- Gum whitening
If the bleaching agent touches your gum, it may change colour for a while.
- Gastrointestinal distress or irritation
If you ingest the whitening gel, it may cause a mild stomach ache or burning sensation in your throat.
- Dentine or enamel damage
The enamel may become thin from using teeth whitening products containing strong abrasive or bleaching agents.
Some people may experience pain after or during tooth whitening. If the pain is intense or you experience extreme teeth sensitivity, contact your dentist immediately. If the dentist gets into a cracked tooth or cavity, you will experience intense pain, which requires immediate medical care.
Tips on dental hygiene to prevent teeth stains and discolouration
Keeping your teeth clean will prevent yellowing and teeth discolouration, so it is important to do the following.
- Rinse your mouth with water after any meal or chew sugar-free gum
- Brush your teeth a minimum of two times every day
- Use a whitening toothpaste
- Visit your dentist often for dental cleaning and check-up
- After you have a meal or drink that can stain or teeth, brush your teeth, but if you had an acidic drink or food, wait for about thirty minutes before brushing.
Diet for white teeth
Your diet can affect the whiteness of your teeth, especially if you do not brush your teeth often. Some drinks that could stain your teeth include:
- Red wine
Ensure you brush your teeth after taking these drinks, and if possible, reduce their intake. Chewing sugar-free gum, mint, or parsley will stimulate saliva production to clean your teeth.
If you want to whiten your teeth, teeth whitening in London are now made easy with our professional dental team.