Is Teeth Whitening Permanent?
Teeth whitening is done to lighten and remove stains and discoloration from teeth. Whitening can also be done to fade some intrinsic stains mostly caused by exposure to too much fluoride during the development years or exposure to tetracycline antibiotics. Teeth whitening is, however, most effective on surface stains.
Whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because a bright smile gives the impression of perfect health, youth and beauty. Unfortunately only very few people have perfectly white teeth given that various factors such as food, some drinks and age among other factors are to blame for teeth discoloration. Tooth whitening works to get the teeth up to 10 shades brighter and is the most common dental procedure done to improve how the teeth look.
So is Teeth Whitening Permanent?
The simplest answer to this question would be no. There are different methods of teeth whitening and each method comes with different results with some methods being more effective than others. A thorough bleaching from a dentist will definitely have better results and last longer when compared to a bleaching your teeth with toothpaste or strips at home. The truth however is that no teeth whitening procedure produces permanent results though some procedures may get rid of certain prominent stains on the surface of the teeth for good.
Professional teeth whitening involve the use of a whitening gel with carbomide peroxide as the active ingredient. A dentist will at first put a rubber shield or a gel to protect the gum from the whitening gel. The whitening gel is the applied on the surface of the teeth and left for some time. As the active ingredient in the whitening gel is broken down, oxygen gets to the enamel and this brightens the teeth.
In some cases, a laser light may be used to activate the whitening gel and to increase the effectiveness of the procedure. In such cases, the dentist usually shines the light on the teeth after applying the bleaching gel. The light and heat from this light in turn works to activate the active ingredient for faster and better results.
How Long Does Professional Teeth Whitening Last?
On average professional whitening will last for about two years. The duration will however vary depending on the procedure used, the state of the teeth and the environment the teeth are exposed to among other factors.
The type of initial staining will determine the outcome and the duration the whitening will last. In some cases, more than one whitening session may be required to get the desired brightness. Some follow-up care after professional cleaning may be required in order to brighten the teeth to the desired shade and ensure that the teeth remain bright for longer.
Keeping Your Teeth White
While professional cleaning will last for about two years, a lot can be done to maintain the whitened teeth for a much longer duration.
Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
This may require at least brushing the teeth twice in a day, dental flossing to get rid of food debris and accumulation of stain forming bacteria and having professional dental teeth cleaning at least after every six months.
Keep Away From Dark Colored and Acidic Drinks
Coffee, tea and wine just to mention but a few. These drinks are known to lead to white staining and discoloration and are top on the list when it comes to factors that contribute to staining.
Avoid Foods That Are High in Acids
Such foods wear down the enamel and increases the possibility of teeth staining. If such foods cannot be avoided, the teeth should be brushed immediately after such a meal as this will reduce the effect of the acid on the enamel.
Drink a Lot of Water Throughout the Day
The water is not only great for flushing toxins out of the body but also works to flush bacteria and stains from the teeth and the mouth in general.
Teeth whitening is effective in getting rid of stains and brightening the surface of the teeth. While the stain removal may be permanent, the general shade of the teeth will get darker with time and subsequent procedures may be required to maintain and keep the teeth white and bright.