How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Since your smile is one of your most important features, of course you want it to be dazzling! In an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey, “when respondents were asked, ‘what would you most like to improve about your smile?’ The most common response was: whiter & brighter teeth.” In their quest for more attractive smiles, Americans often turn to teeth whitening procedures. In fact, the National Institute of Teeth Whitening reports: “nearly 90% of Americans request dental whitening procedures every year.”

Chances are, you’ve considered having your teeth whitened. At Dr. Cindy Flanagan‘s Houston dental practice, we regularly give our patients more sparkling smiles with teeth whitening treatments. If you’re planning on taking the plunge with whitening, we recognize that you might have some questions about it. In the following blog, Dr. Flanagan and our team answer the common query: “How long does teeth whitening last?”

Teeth Whitening 101

In order to understand the expected duration of results for teeth whitening, you should first understand the fundamentals of this treatment. Basically, your teeth become discolored due to either extrinsic (surface) stains, or intrinsic (internal) damage. Extrinsic stains typically come from foods or beverages you consume, such as dark chocolate or red wine, while intrinsic discoloration can result from taking certain medications or suffering from specific medical conditions.

Many teeth whitening treatments can only address extrinsic stains. Fortunately, in addition to the ZOOM! whitening option, Dr. Flanagan offers the KöR Advanced Bleaching system to assist patients with both types of discoloration. Whitening your teeth essentially involves applying professional-grade bleach to your enamel. The molecules in this peroxide gel dissolve the discolored particles in your enamel.

How Long Does it Last?

Each patient’s smile is unique, so it’s impossible to say precisely how long your teeth whitening treatment will last. On average, whitening typically brightens patients’ teeth for three years, but some may feel the need to revitalize their whitening within a year, while others may notice a permanent difference in their smiles. The factors that influence how long your new and improved smile shines include:

·      Your natural pigment and staining. The color of enamel you start with could have an effect on the duration of your results.

·      Your oral hygiene regimen. Failing to properly brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis could lead to discoloration, cavities, and other oral health issues, no matter if you’ve had teeth whitening or not.

·      Your daily habits. Consuming dark foods and beverages, such as tomato sauce and tea, could re-stain your teeth after whitening. Using tobacco products can also cause discoloration.

·      The type of teeth whitening treatment you undergo. With hundreds of whitening products and systems on the market, you should know that not all are created equal. Having a professional ZOOM! whitening or KöR Advanced Bleaching in our office will usually lead to longer-lasting results than a drugstore product.

To learn more about the specific factors that will determine how long your teeth whitening lasts, see Dr. Flanagan for a customized whitening consultation.

Maintaining Your Brighter Smile

If you want your whiter smile to last, there are a few key things you can do. To preserve your stunning results, you should:

·      Take excellent care of your teeth. In addition to brushing and flossing on a daily basis, you should make sure to see Dr. Flanagan for your biannual preventive care examinations and cleanings.

·      Avoid staining foods, beverages, and habits. If you want to keep your smile white, you would do well to avoid the things that discolored it in the first place, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, tomato, tobacco, and other products.

·      Utilize your whitening system’s touch-up kits. Both ZOOM! whitening or KöR Advanced Bleaching offer convenient maintenance tips and products. These are designed to help you retain your results, so you should ensure you keep up with them.

Are You Ready for Whiter Teeth?

Dr. Flanagan and our team can help! Whether you’d like to whiten your teeth for the first time or refine your results, we can assist you. Contact our Houston dental practice today to find out more and schedule an appointment.

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