Many dental products claim to whiten teeth (from toothpaste to mouthwash), but these only have a minimal impact. A better option is to receive a professional teeth-whitening service from your dentist. Depending on the current shade of your teeth, you may need to return a few times to gain the result you want. However, even multiple applications are completely safe and work without removing the surface of your teeth.
When to Seek Teeth Whitening
Aging causes your teeth to lose some of their bright whiteness. Your teeth may be extra stained due to your diet, especially if you drink black coffee and red wine, or from smoking. If you want to feel more confident about your smile, teeth whitening could be a good option.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Before you receive teeth whitening, you will need to discuss your suitability for the treatment with your dentist. At this initial appointment, the dentist will also make an impression of your teeth.
At your next visit, you will begin the whitening process. Usually, a dental hygienist is the one to carry out the procedure. This begins with placing gel or a rubber shield over your gums to protect them from the whitening agent. Next, the dental hygienist will apply the whitening product using a custom-made tray that fits over your teeth like a mouthguard.
You will continue the treatment at home using the same tray. Your dentist will advise you on how often to apply the whitening treatment over the next two to four weeks. Each time, you will need to leave the product on for between 30 minutes to 1 hour.
How Long Does Whitening Last?
Teeth whitening treatment lasts up to three years. You can keep your teeth whiter for longer by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, avoiding foods and beverages that are high in sugar, and receiving regular checkups from your dentist.