Over time, your teeth will become less white, and that is unfortunately unavoidable. As you age, and more so If you drink coffee, tea, or red wine, or use tobacco, your teeth will become stained and may not remain as white as you would like them to be. If you find you would like your teeth to be whiter again, there are options available to you in terms of whitening! From over-the-counter products, to professional in-office treatments, you can get your smile bright and white again. We have put together a list of five things you should know before you decide to whiten your teeth.
1. Teeth whitening does not damage your teeth.
Most teeth whitening procedures, at-home or in-office, use a peroxide-based system. Professionally applied treatments, for example, typically have 35-40% hydrogen peroxide, while at-home products have a lower concentration at up to 10%.
If you have any concerns about your teeth whitening procedures, or the ingredients in the products you will be using, make sure you talk to your dentist. They will be able to answer all your questions and ensure the treatment is safe for you to proceed with.
2. Teeth whitening is not permanent.
After teeth are whitened, your active lifestyle continues to stain your teeth. Typically, a teeth whitening treatment should last 1-3 years. After that, you may need to go back for a touch-up, if you wish to maintain a certain shade of white. Follow-up treatments are generally less expensive and less time-consuming.
To maximize the length of time your whitening lasts for, try to avoid foods and drinks that may stain your teeth, like coffee, tea, and red wine. Also make sure you are following a good oral hygiene routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing regularly to maintain your oral health and your bright white smile.
In order to maximize the length of time your whitening lasts for, try to avoid foods and drinks that may stain your teeth, like coffee, tea, and red wine. Also make sure you are following a good oral hygiene routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing regularly to maintain your oral health and your bright white smile!
3. Crowns, fillings, and veneers do not whiten.
If you have crowns, fillings, or veneers on your teeth, keep in mind that they will not whiten along with your natural teeth, which could result in uneven colouring in your mouth. Generally, you will only have to worry about this if you have fillings, veneers, or crowns in the front of your mouth where they would be visible when you smile.
4. Brief sensitivity after teeth whitening treatments is common.
Many people experience sensitivity immediately following their teeth whitening treatments. This happens because the whitening gel contains an agent that opens the pores of your teeth, which allows it to actually do its job and whiten your teeth. During this process, your teeth become temporarily dehydrated which reduces their ability to protect the nerve from changes in sensitivity. This sensitivity usually goes away within 48 hours after your whitening treatment. To help reduce this sensitivity, you can use a toothpaste that is specifically designed for sensitive teeth.
5. Not all teeth whiteners are created equal.
When it comes to teeth whitening products, there are a ton of them available. There are countless over-the-counter options, and your dentist will be able to provide multiple options for you as well. Not every option will work for every person, though. For example, the whitening strips you buy at the drugstore may not work very well for someone with crooked or misaligned teeth, as they are designed to lay flat on your teeth. If the strips cannot lay flat, they will not get in the nooks and crannies they need to, and you could be left with uneven colouring.
Whether you think you want an at-home treatment or an in-office treatment, your best first step will be to talk to your dentist. Ask your dentist any questions you may have so you can be assured you will get the results you are looking for.
There are many options to consider when whitening your teeth. Make sure you choose one that is going to work for you, and follow the directions carefully to ensure you end up with a beautiful, bright, white smile!