Teeth whitening can significantly improve your smile’s aesthetics with minimal time and effort on your part. While the results of these treatments are not permanent, they can last for months and even a year or two in some cases.
Patients can take steps to extend the results of their bleaching treatments by limiting their consumption of items that can stain the teeth, like red wine and coffee, and giving up lifestyle habits (think smoking) that also can cause discoloration.
These interventions whiten the teeth by using bleaching gels to eliminate stains from the enamel. While a multitude of options for teeth whitening are available over the counter in drug stores and other retail outlets, the interventions that are provided by your dentist use stronger bleaching gels, and they tend to achieve more consistent results. Additionally, the professional-grade treatments may require less frequent touch-ups.
A dentist also can offer systems that the patient can use at home at their own convenience. These options use custom-fitted trays to apply the gel to the teeth. The patient usually wears them overnight for several days in a row. You may notice your teeth becoming whiter within three to five days.
The trays tend to be more effective than over-the-counter strips because they are specifically designed to match the unique contours of your teeth and put the gel in contact with your teeth more evenly.
Other professional-strength teeth whitening treatments can be administered in a dental office. These systems often use lasers to activate the bleaching gel and cause it to take effect more quickly. They usually leave patients teeth noticeably whiter in as little as an hour.
In-office methods can be combined with at-home treatments as well. For example, many patients choose to have their initial teeth whitening treatment in a dental office but then do maintenance treatments at home every four to six months, again using the custom-crafted trays for more consistent results.
To make the most of your teeth whitening treatment, ask an expert on our dental team what steps you will need to take to maintain your results. Contact our office today to schedule your visit.