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How Long Do Teeth Whitening Effects Last?

How Long Do Teeth Whitening Effects Last?

When it comes to confidence, your smile matters. They say you can never make a first impression twice and when 55% of first impressions are made based on what we see, it’s important to look and feel your best.  Whether you are interviewing for a new position, meeting someone for the first time, or just talking with friends, a pearly white smile can give you the confidence you need to smile and feel good about yourself. 

Enter teeth whitening, a relatively fast and inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure. It can make a major impact on your smile in just one session, and the effects can last for 6 months to a year. 

About Teeth Whitening Treatment 

As we age, our smiles naturally darken in colour and radiance. Teeth become more yellow over time. Bright, white teeth are a sign of good health and youth, and they are desirable for these transformative effects. 

There are several different tooth whitening options for patients to choose from. Most of these options will effectively lighten the colour of your teeth over time. However, they vary with regard to the amount of time it takes to see results, as well as the long term effectiveness. It is best to do your own research first and then meet with your dentist to determine the best form of treatment for your situation.

It is important to note that tooth whitening only works on natural teeth. Prosthetics such as dentures, bridges and dental implants cannot be lightened using peroxides. 

Types of Whitening Available

Professional Whitening 

At VCCID we offer professional tooth whitening in Burnaby, BC. Professional tooth whitening treatment gets you the results you are looking for fast and in a safe, controlled environment. Your dentist is a trained professional and will help you achieve the desired level of lightening you are looking for. 

Professional tooth whitening uses a strong peroxide mixture, with concentrates up to 25%. In a safe, clinical environment, your dentist can use strong and effective bleaching agents to get significant lightening effects in just one treatment. 

This is typically in office and patients usually only need 1 clinical treatment to achieve their desired results. Teeth can lighten 3-4 shades lighter in this one treatment. Just how well your teeth will whiten will depend on both the beginning colour as well as the concentration of peroxide being used.

 In general, yellow teeth will whiten much better than teeth where the underlying colour is in the gray or brown spectrum. Teeth discoloured due to the antibiotic tetracycline given as a child (during the development of the teeth) will not give good results, regardless of concentration or method used. 

Another consideration is the presence of fillings or striations/cracks/multicoloured areas on your front teeth. In some cases, a persons’ teeth will whiten but not evenly, and some fillings which used to blend in may look dark after the shade change. We can advise you if we feel whitening will produce good results and to meet your expectations.

However once achieved, professional tooth whitening can last for up to a year if the teeth are cleaned and well maintained. 

Take-Home Whitening 

After your professional tooth whitening session, your dentist will provide you with take-home tooth whitening trays. This will help you to maintain your pearly white smile at home, in between treatments. Your dentist will show you how to use the bleaching trays and the professional-grade tooth lightener. 

At-Home Whitening Kit

There are at-home whitening kits available over the counter, and there are many different options to choose from. These can vary from whitening gels to strips, but they contain relatively the same levels of peroxide. 

There is mixed information about the effectiveness of at-home whitening kits, however, many kits can be equally as effective as professional whitening treatments when used over time. There are pros and cons to at-home whitening. At-home whitening kits often contain lower levels of peroxide, the lightening agent which gives you that white smile. 

Because the active ingredient peroxide,  is weaker, it will take more sessions to get to your desired level of lightness. The colour will also need to be refreshed every 6 months. And while at-home whitening kits can be an effective option, they typically do not offer strong enough levels of peroxide if your teeth are quite dark in brightness. 

Whitening Toothpaste 

Whitening toothpaste is another form of at-home tooth whitening treatment. Be wary and consult your dentist before choosing a new whitening toothpaste. Some can contain much lower levels of peroxide, whereas others can contain products that are abrasive and harmful to your teeth. 

Baking soda is something you will want to avoid. You will notice a lighter smile, but over time the abrasive nature of this product will quickly strip away your enamel. This will leave your teeth more susceptible to damage, cavities, and chipping. In order to see results, whitening toothpaste must be used daily, and the results are not as long-lasting. They will require daily upkeep. Visit your dentist to determine the safest lightening toothpaste for your teeth. 

Maintaining a White Smile 

Once you’ve achieved the perfect level of tooth whitening, it’s important to preserve the look for as long as possible. Your new tooth whiteness is semi-permanent and generally lasts between 6 months to a year. Your teeth will eventually darken over time, but there are some ways to slow this process down. This adds to the length of time you can go between treatments. 

  1. Avoid foods that can stain your teeth such as coffee or red wine
  2. Do not smoke 
  3. Maintain proper oral hygiene (brush and floss 2x per day) 
  4. Go for touch-ups 

Treatment upkeep is necessary when it comes to whitening your teeth. Over-whitening the teeth can be risky. However, if it has been over six months since your last treatment, and you are noticing yellow stains, a touch up can bring that lightness back. 

Visit VCCID Today

You deserve a radiant smile and the team at VCCID can help you reach your whitening goals. Smile with confidence at VCCID. Call (604) 434-0248 or come visit our dental clinic at Metrotown for a consultation.

Do You Need Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments?

There are many ways cosmetic dentistry can improve a person’s life. If you’re interested in seeing what these procedures can do for you,

contact us at (604) 434-0248.

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