When your teeth come in as a child, they are naturally white. Everyone has a natural brightness to their teeth. This brightness, however, can dull over time.
The foods and liquids you consume (e.g., coffee, tea, and red wine) can stain your teeth. Tobacco products, certain medications, and even some mouth rinses can discolor teeth.
Plaque and tartar, which build up without regular dental cleanings, can lead to discoloration. Age, trauma, various medical conditions, and genetics may also affect tooth color.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to whiten your teeth, brighten your smile, and improve your confidence. You can choose between in-office and at-home treatments (or a combination). Teeth whitening results can also last for years (depending on the type of treatment).
Extrinsic discoloration affects the outside of your teeth. These surface stains are shallow. Causes include:
At-home teeth whitening kits can give you the same results as professional whitening treatment in less than two weeks. (Be sure to follow instructions carefully).
Intrinsic discoloration forms within your teeth. This form of discoloration is deeper than extrinsic discoloration. Causes include:
To prevent tooth discoloration and keep your teeth white after treatment, keep these tips in mind:
Many healthy foods can also improve teeth health and brightness. These foods include vegetables, pineapple, dairy, nuts, seeds, onions, celery, and carrots, among others.
How long the effects will last depends on the type of whitening treatment used:
Professional whitening treatments are more expensive. They cost between $500 and $1,200 per treatment.
Some in-office whitening treatments can last between 6 months to 3 years with proper care.
Here are three professional whitening options that can brighten your smile quickly and effectively:
There are also many LED whitening kits available to whiten your teeth at home. These kits provide results that are comparable to professional whitening.
LED teeth whitening kits provide longer-lasting results than strips and toothpaste. After you reach the desired shade, the kit only needs to be used every few weeks to a month. This will maintain your white teeth (results vary depending on the brand).
Laser teeth whitening uses professional equipment to give you those pearly whites. The dentist will cover your gums/lips and then coat your teeth with a peroxide gel.
NewMouth recommends LED teeth whitening systems to achieve a brighter smile. They are affordable, easy to use, produce minimal side effects, and highly effective.
From there, the dentist will use a laser to activate the gel’s bleaching agent, which will whiten your teeth. It can lighten your teeth up to several shades.
The laser teeth whitening process isn’t cheap. It can cost about $500 and up for one treatment. However, results will last for several months.
These are the most common over-the-counter teeth whitening options available. These are much cheaper than professional whitening treatments. Most over-the-counter teeth whitening products cost well under $50.
Some people see results directly after using whitening strips, and the effects can last up to six months. Some people don't see results until a few days to weeks later.
How long it takes to whiten your teeth also depends entirely on the type of teeth whitening solution you choose.
Professional teeth whitening generally takes about an hour and may show immediate results. Over-the-counter products may take just minutes to use but up to weeks to see results. LED whitening kits work after one to five uses.
How often you should whiten your teeth depends on if you choose a professional teeth whitening solution or over-the-counter products.
While a professional procedure may only require one visit, whitening toothpastes should be used daily. Strips and gels should be used daily for a designated period of time.
It is not bad to whiten your teeth so long as you choose a safe method and practice regular dental care. Whitening strips, gels, toothpastes, and other remedies are dentist-approved methods.
Teeth sensitivity varies for everyone. It may last longer or feel more intense, depending on the teeth whitening solution you’ve chosen. Typically, however, you should feel better within a few hours or up to about 48 hours at most.
Teeth whitening will not last forever. However, there are ways that you can prolong the brightened appearance of your teeth. Practice proper oral hygiene and stay away from foods, liquids, and products that can stain your teeth.
Getting your teeth professionally whitened will likely last longer than using over-the-counter products to whiten your teeth. If you use whitening products like toothpaste daily, you can prolong the brightened appearance of your teeth.
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