A common question many people have when it comes to teeth whitening is, “How long will my teeth stay white?” Are teeth whitening treatments a permanent fix for discolored teeth? The answer, unfortunately, is no. However, don’t get discouraged. There are things that you can do to in order to keep your teeth shining bright and white for longer. Let’s take a look at what whitening treatments do and how you can help keep your teeth white.
What Causes Discoloration of the Teeth?
Extrinsic stains occur on the surface of the tooth. They occur when pigment residue from the things you eat and drink build-up in the film within your mouth, staining the outer layer of the enamel. These stains can also occur from tobacco and tar associated with smoking.
Intrinsic stains are below the surface of the tooth and are often due to things such as increased antibiotic use as a child. They can also be caused by dental trauma or certain medical conditions. These stains are deeper within the tooth and harder to remove.
How teeth whitening works differs depending on the product you are using. For example, whitening toothpaste uses abrasives to brush away surface stains. This works to remove particles responsible for stains, but once you drink or smoke, those surface particles reappear, continuing to contribute to staining. This type of whitening product only addresses extrinsic stains. In order to keep stains at bay, whitening toothpaste must be used often.
Custom-fit whitening trays offer great results for at-home teeth whitening. Visit SportingSmiles today to purchase your high-quality trays at a low cost.
Whitening treatments, such as SportingSmiles custom-fit whitening trays and gel work a little differently. This whitening gel contains carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. This material penetrates the enamel of your teeth, directly targeting the discolored molecules responsible for staining. These whitening agents break down these molecules, removing the stains and whitening your entire tooth. This type of whitening product works on both intrinsic and extrinsic stains and often lasts longer before additional treatments are needed.
Your over-the-counter whitening strips fall somewhere in between these two whitening options. While they do contain a whitening agent similar to gel treatments, they are a much lower concentration. In addition, the strips are unable to make contact with your entire tooth surface like the gels can, leaving areas untreated.
Will Your Teeth Whitening Treatment be Permanent?
The short answer is no, but what you use to whiten can make a difference. To understand how long teeth whitening works, we have to look at each different type of product.
- Whitening Toothpaste – Whitening toothpaste varies, with some containing harsh abrasives while others contain mild abrasives. Those with harsh abrasives provide quicker results but should not be used for more than four weeks at a time. Mild abrasive whitening toothpaste, such as those with baking soda, is safe to use every day but you typically don’t see results for four to six weeks. However, you can use this toothpaste daily, keeping your whitening results ongoing.
- Whitening Strips – To whiten your teeth using whitening strips, you generally need to apply them twice a day for an average of two weeks. With these, you will generally see whitening results within a few days and the results should last at least four months before you may need another treatment, but they can start to fade in as little as one month.
- Whitening Gel or Professional Whitening – Whitening gel used in custom-fit mouth trays, such as we offer at SportingSmiles, is the most effective method for keeping your teeth whiter longer. On average, a gel whitening treatment can offer you a white smile for six months up to a few years. However, every person is different and how long your whitening lasts depends on your aftercare and lifestyle.
While Your Teeth Whitening Treatment Is Not Permanent, How You Care for Your Teeth Keeps the Benefits Longer
After your whitening treatment, how you care for your teeth makes all the difference. The minute you start eating and drinking, you are at risk of developing new stains. Let’s take a look at what you can do to keep your teeth white in between your whitening treatments.
- Follow Good Oral Hygiene – Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing every night removes plaque and food particles that contribute to tooth staining. Using an antiseptic mouthwash daily helps reduce the bacteria that contributes to plaque build-up and tooth discoloration.
- Reduce the Intake of Stain-Causing Foods and Beverages – Some top staining foods and beverages include red wine, coffee, tea, dark sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, tomato-based pasta sauces, berries, beets, soy sauce, and foods high in certain spices, such as curry powder. Limiting these foods in your regular diet helps reduce your risk of tooth staining.
- Brush or Rinse Immediately After Eating or Drinking – If you don’t want to say goodbye to your favorite foods and beverages, you can still reduce the risk of staining. After consuming food and beverages that can cause stains, rinse and brush your teeth as soon as possible.
- Consider Using a Straw – Drinking beverages like coffee through a straw is good for your teeth. Drinking through a straw limits the contact beverages have with your teeth, reducing the risk of staining.
- Swallow Foods and Drinks Swiftly – Many people tend to hold beverages in their mouth or swish it around before swallowing. This increases the contact it has with teeth and can contribute to staining.
- Eat Dark Leafy Greens Before Eating Other Foods – There are some benefits to the idea of a salad before dinner. Eating dark, leafy greens such as arugula, kale, or collard greens creates a protective film on the teeth. This protects them from the damage and staining high acid foods can cause. So, opt for a salad before that bowl of spaghetti.
- Quit Smoking – While you already know that quitting smoking is good for your health, it also helps avoid teeth staining.
SportingSmiles Offers Professional Whitening Treatments
At SportingSmiles, we offer professional-strength tooth whitening gel along with our custom-fit whitening trays. This method helps you achieve optimal tooth whitening. Unfortunately, no teeth whitening treatment is permanent. However, how you care for your teeth in between whitening treatments makes all the difference. For more information on our whitening products, visit Teeth Whitening today.