What's the Longest Lasting Teeth Whitening Solution?
Teeth whitening often does not last forever. Everything that you put in your mouth, from everyday foods to cigarettes, will have an impact on the color of your teeth. Some whitening solutions will last longer than others, however. The method that you chose to whiten your teeth is one of the most significant factors that affect how long the treatment will last.
Here, we review some of the best teeth whitening solutions and take an in-depth look at how long they are estimated to last. We also provide some insight on how you can make the effects of your treatment last longer.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
How long teeth whitening lasts will vary based on the method that you use. The best whitening solution for you will vary based on your needs, goals, and budget. The results of various methods will last from years to just a few weeks.
Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments
Professional teeth whitening is an in-office procedure. It will require a preliminary polish and application of a whitening solution. Like at-home teeth whitening treatments, the professional treatment will usually include either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent. Once the agent is applied, it will cure under a light or laser for between 30 and 60 minutes. Some teeth-whitening brands require that the application be reapplied occasionally as well.
Getting your teeth whitened from your dentist will often last between one to three years. They use professional whitening materials that generally last longer than the average over-the-counter product. However, professional treatments are much more expensive compared to other options.
The average whitening strip treatment will give you whiter teeth in just a few days if you use them consistently. They contain either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide along with an adhesive to keep the strips in place. When the peroxide contacts your teeth, it will oxidize them, which acts as a bleaching agent.
Having the peroxide sit on your teeth for a longer period of time compared to whitening toothpaste allows the strips to generally be more effective. On average, the results seem to last about four months.
Most whitening toothpastes are not very effective. You will have to brush regularly for several weeks before you notice any difference. You must also consistently brush to maintain the results.
Some whitening toothpastes contain a chemical called blue covarine. It sticks to the surface of the tooth and creates an optical illusion that the tooth is whiter. That means that your teeth may seem whiter, but the toothpaste actually had little long-term effect.
However, when used on a regular basis, whitening toothpaste will give the impression that your teeth are whiter after between two to six weeks of use.
LED Teeth Whitening
An LED teeth whitening system will use a whitening gel in combination with an LED light. Once you apply the gel to your teeth, you place the light in your mouth for about 20 minutes to half an hour. An LED light alone will not help you whiten your teeth. Instead, you must use both the gel and the light in combination to have the desired whitening effect.
Whitening effects of this method vary a great deal, but some have reported that the effects last a few years to just a few weeks.
Teeth Whitening Pens
Teeth whitening pens often give you faster results compared to other whitening methods. Regular application over a period of a week or two will give many people a noticeably lighter shade to their teeth. In fact, applying the pen after consuming food or drinks that are more likely to stain your teeth, like coffee or berries, can help counteract the effects of staining that those items normally cause. It is important, however, that you do not continue to eat or drink after you use the pen because the pen opens the pores to remove current stains, which can leave it more susceptible to additional staining.
The pens will normally contain carbamide peroxide, which is a whitening agent that essentially bleaches the teeth. When the peroxide breaks down, it allows more oxygen into the enamel of the tooth. The result is a noticeable lightening of the color of the tooth. Results last just a few weeks to a month or two, depending on your diet and other habits.
How to Make Your Teeth Whitening Treatment Last
The best teeth whitening solution for you might depend on how long you want the effects to last. Even if you chose a method that may not generally last as long as others, you can still take steps to help increase the longevity of the whitening effects of treatment
Avoid staining foods
Remember that you will start staining your teeth again as soon as your treatment is finished. Avoiding some of the most common teeth-staining foods and drinks will help you increase the time between whitening treatments. Some of these problematic foods and drinks include:
- Tomato sauce
- Red wine
- Sugary foods and drinks
You can also counteract some of the effects by eating foods that help keep your teeth health and white. Fruits and vegetables packed with water can help with this. These include celery and apples, for example.
Brush after every meal
Keeping your teeth client will help sustain the whitening effects of any treatment. Brushing after every meal will help decrease the effects of food-staining or sugary foods. You will also clean away food particles and bacteria as well.
Stop or limit smoking
Smoking can severely stain teeth. While quitting entirely is the best option, it may not be feasible for everyone. Try to cut back or brush your teeth after each cigarette, if possible. You have likely heard that smoking can yellow teeth, but years of smoking can actually turn your teeth brown as well.