Did you know that it takes less than 100 milliseconds to make a first impression on someone?
First impressions are everything, and people use all sorts of indicators to make them. Those indicators can be your clothes, your confidence, or your words. But the thing you might not be considering is your smile.
A white smile looks great, and it catches the eye. It conveys cleanliness and order, and chances are it will make people feel more comfortable around you. The big question is, how long does teeth whitening last?
In this guide, you’ll learn about the teeth whitening process. You’ll learn about the causes of tooth discolouration, and how long teeth whitening solutions will maintain your pearly whites.
What Are the Causes of Tooth Discoloration?
Teeth are naturally yellow. Teeth whitening is the easiest way to get white teeth. However, there are other ways that things can stain your teeth.
There are two types of tooth discolouration: external and internal. External causes of tooth discolouration happen as a result of what you consume or how well you care for your teeth. The external causes are easier to treat since they’re on the surface of the tooth.
Internal discolouration is more difficult to treat. This can come as a result of disease or trauma in some extreme cases. In cases of internal tooth discolouration, your best bet is to get professional whitening.
The main culprits are black tea and coffee. These popular drinks contain tannins, a type of acid that can stain your teeth. So if you’re a coffee-lover, you might benefit from regular teeth whitening.
Carbonated drinks can also stain your teeth. Others include wine, tomato sauce, and soy sauce.
Lack of Dental Hygiene
Your daily dental hygiene is extremely important. It gives you healthy teeth that look great and prevents tooth rot. But if you don’t keep up with that hygiene, plaque appears.
Plaque is problematic because, over time, it hardens into tartar. This can lead to ugly yellow gunk on your teeth. Let it get worse, and you could be looking at bacterial infections or worse.
It goes without saying that for a white smile, you need not only maintain teeth whitening, but brush your teeth every day.
If you smoke regularly, you may have noticed that your teeth yellow and brown. This stain gets worse over time, especially for heavy smokers.
That’s because tobacco contains tar. This tar doesn’t just stain your teeth, it gets deep into the structure and stays there. Tobacco tar not only gives you bad breath, but it can ruin a nice smile.
Tar stains are notoriously difficult to remove. At-home teeth whitening may not work, so you should check out professional teeth whitening solutions.
The body begins to break down over time, and the same goes for the teeth. As you age, your enamel breaks down, too. The enamel is the pearly covering that protects your teeth from wear.
As the enamel fades and disappears, it exposes the layer beneath. This layer, known as dentin, has a characteristic yellow colour. Teeth whitening is a great solution if your age may be affecting your teeth.
Illnesses and Genetics
If you have celiac disease, then you may have experienced tooth discolouration. This is because it breaks down the enamel and may leave behind spots. In some cases, tooth discolouration can be a sign of auto-immune disease.
Further, treatments that use radiation like chemotherapy can break down the enamel, leading to the same. If you suffer from diseases that ruin your excellent smile, then the teeth whitening process may be for you.
The Teeth Whitening Process: How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening is great because you have a lot of options available to you. You can do it at home, or have a professional whiten your teeth. Professional whitening lasts the most, uses quality products, and looks the best.
In most cases, teeth whitening makes use of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Both of these products are safe to use on your teeth. As long as you don’t do teeth whitening too often, or use them in an improper fashion, your teeth will be healthy and white.
They work by bleaching your teeth white for a period of time. In the case of peroxide, it oxidizes your teeth. Your teeth are porous, which allows these chemicals to enter and cling there.
It’s important to note here that using too much hydrogen peroxide can damage your teeth. That’s why you should get professional teeth whitening. The experts know the right concentration to use so you can come in for regular teeth whitening appointments.
The result is teeth that look great, and are incredibly white. Let’s look at some of the common teeth whitening processes.
Professional, In-Office Whitening
As you can imagine, professional whitening is the way to go. Professionals that work with teeth on a daily basis know how to do it best. The friendly staff will put you at ease and make sure you’re comfortable during the process.
Those who work in an office receive professional training. Beauticians at a mall have not studied dentistry, and thus are only following the instructions when doing treatments. It only makes sense that when you put your care in professional hands, you get the best service possible.
Further, professional whitening caters to you. If you have sensitive teeth, you can rest assured that the procedure will give you healthy, comfortable teeth.
How Does it Work?
The professional procedure can take up to one hour. The office manufactures teeth trays that custom fit your teeth. They then use whitening products that target your teeth to give the best whitening possible.
This may also include LED treatments. LED light allows for much deeper whitening to get you the best white smile possible.
A single professional whitening can whiten your teeth by several shades. You can come in on a regular basis to make sure your teeth remain white and clean throughout the year. Best of all, you can incorporate whitening into your existing appointment.
Most importantly, professionals know how much is too much. They’ll use safe amounts of hydrogen peroxide to ensure teeth whitening doesn’t damage your enamel. Other teeth whitening processes risk damage to your teeth, and won’t provide the same great results.
Mall Clinics and Beauticians
You can find cheap teeth whitening at your local mall or in some beauty parlours. These treatments use higher concentrations of product, and will generally give better results than an at-home kit.
They may use teeth trays to apply hydrogen peroxide. They may apply chemicals directly with a brush or swab. In some cases, this may be an LED treatment.
However, keep in mind that these are not trained professionals. Anyone can work at these places. At best, they’ve received basic training on how to apply these procedures and nothing else.
That means they are not trained in tooth anatomy or dental care. They may not be aware that they are causing damage to your teeth by using too much product.
These clinics may not adhere to any medical standards. They may not be under the regulation of any medical body, meaning it’s a toss-up what sort of care you’ll get.
Finally, the results may vary. You’re at the mercy of the clinic you happen to walk into. If the technician does a poor job, you could be paying for lacklustre teeth whitening.
While this is a cheap option that may give better results than teeth whitening strips, you should exercise caution. Do your research by reading reviews. It pays to know to whom you’re giving your money.
The Home Teeth Whitening Process
You can take your teeth trays home with you. This will require visiting your smile professional. They’ll make impressions of your teeth, custom to your mouth rather than a general template.
This means you’ll be able to get something akin to professional treatment in the home. However, you’ll have to rely on instructions. If you use too much or too little product, that could affect the whitening.
Home teeth whitening is a good option if you want only minimal teeth whitening solutions. These will whiten your teeth to a degree, but it won’t be anything compared to coming in for a professional appointment.
You have plenty of options if you decide to do teeth whitening with a kit from the store. This includes special whitening toothpaste, teeth whitening strips, mouthwashes, and whitening pens.
Chances are you’ve seen whitening strips on the shelf or in commercials. These are the most popular option around. They’re easy to use, but they require frequent use and won’t provide the highest level of teeth whitening.
To use them, you’ll need to dry your teeth. You’ll then take the strips and apply them to both rows of teeth, leaving them to sit for at least half an hour.
After you’re done, you should brush your teeth to clear off the product. Teeth whitening strips can only handle surface stains.
Toothpaste and Mouthwash With Whitening Products
Of all the products discussed here, these are the least effective. If you’re looking for minimal teeth whitening, you can purchase toothpaste that has a whitening effect.
Note, you shouldn’t use whitening toothpaste for long periods of time. More than four weeks, and you could be damaging your enamel. Like teeth whitening strips, this only handles surface stains.
LED Whitening Kits
To whiten your teeth with LED light, you’ll need a bleaching chemical that the LED light activates to produce bleaching. The LED is not what is bleaching your teeth. Rather, it speeds up the process to allow this agent to work much faster than with teeth whitening strips.
Note, an LED light won’t give you a risk of skin cancer. Don’t confuse them with UV lights, which emit the same light as the sun and can lead to sunburns and cancer.
If you travel a lot, whitening pens are great because you can apply them whenever you want. You’ll have to make contact with all the teeth to get the best results. It’s great for whitening your teeth that are front and centre.
However, this is a minor, temporary solution. You’ll get the best results by using the whitening pen in addition to other solutions. A whitening pen is a great way to maintain the whitening for longer after a professional treatment.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
Now the big question you’ve been wondering: how long will the whitening effect last after you’ve done it?
It depends on your treatment, of course. Teeth whitening from strips, toothpaste, and others will only last for a few months at most. Further, these treatments won’t give the strongest results for very long.
Having your teeth whitened at a clinic may last longer. At most you might get 6 months, in some cases more. This all depends on which one you visit.
Professional whitening, on the other hand, lasts a minimum of 6 months. In fact, you can expect professional tooth whitening to last you up to 3 years!
That means it’s more affordable, requires fewer visits, and gives you the best results. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
It’s clear that professional whitening is the best option here. Put your trust in the people who have studied this, and do it all day.
Find Teeth Whitening Near You
How long does teeth whitening last? That’s up to which procedure you choose, so it’s important that you go for a professional teeth whitening process. This gives you the most notable results, which can last for years.
Perth locals are in luck. Get in contact with a teeth whitening office that’s right around the corner!