A smile is often one of the first things people notice when meeting someone – and that includes their teeth. It is no surprise that having stains or discolorations can cause someone to be self-conscious, eventually impacting their confidence and overall quality of life.
Good news - professional teeth whitening treatments can help. This is done under the care or direction of your dentist and can yield incredible results that can transform your life. And, with the right care, the results can last quite a while.
What Causes Stains and Discoloration?
We are not born with stains and discolorations on our teeth, so how do they get there? Believe it or not, there are many reasons that teeth lose their pearly white color - some that you have control over and others you do not.
Consuming certain foods, such as those with dyes or high acidity can impact your teeth. Beverages such as coffee, tea, red wine, and fruit juices can do the same.
Of course, how you care for your teeth will ultimately have an impact on the way they look. If you have poor hygiene and do not practice a solid oral hygiene routine, you are putting your teeth at risk for stains and discoloration.
Other things, such as age, genetics, medications, health issues, and tobacco use can also impact the color of teeth.
For most patients, there is a combination of issues that can lead to teeth becoming stained.
Types of Teeth Whitening
When it comes to teeth whitening, there are a couple of different options to choose from.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening includes the kits you can purchase at your local drugstore - or usually anywhere you can buy goods for oral healthcare. While these may help to lighten your teeth a shade or two, the results are not very dramatic, can be uneven, and take a long time to reach.
At-home professional teeth whitening involves taking home a hit from your dentist. You will apply the treatment conveniently at home using trays that have been custom-made just for you. This will all be done under the direction of your dentist so that you get the results you are looking for.
In-office professional teeth whitening is done at your dentist’s office. It is the fastest way to achieve the best results. In about 2 hours, your teeth can be shades whiter. Everything is handled by dental professionals so that you know you will end up with the most even results - in a very safe environment.
How Long Teeth Whitening Lasts
The results of teeth whitening will vary from person to person. However, you can expect your teeth to be their new shade of white anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. The average timeframe is 2 years.
The length of your whitening will depend on the type of whitening treatment combined with any of the issues mentioned above that brought on the stains in the first place. For instance, if your teeth were stained from tobacco use and you continue to use tobacco, your results may not last as long.
In order to prolong the results of your teeth whitening treatment, you are going to need to:
- Develop a solid oral healthcare routine of brushing and flossing
- Minimize your consumption of foods and beverages that cause staining - or immediately rinse your mouth after.
- Regularly visit your dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning
- Give up bad habits, such as using tobacco
There are some things you can’t help, like genetics and aging. So, do what you can and you may find that your teeth will stay shades brighter for longer than you thought.
Interested in Teeth Whitening Treatment?
If you are ready to transform your smile with brighter, whiter teeth, then you may want to invest in a teeth whitening treatment. With both in-office and at-home treatments available, Imperial Dental Associates have just what you need.