Teeth whitening is a simple, safe way to transform the look of your smile. A single treatment can provide dramatic results. Results will last for a year or more, or longer if you have occasional touch-up treatments.
Teeth Whitening and How It Works
Whitening treatment is administered in the office of your cosmetic dentist. A whitening agent is painted on your teeth, then left for about twenty minutes. Some types of whiteners are activated with a special light. An individual treatment takes about an hour, and afterwards your teeth will be anywhere from five to ten shades lighter. You’ll see results right away, but the full effect will set in over the next few days.
Teeth whitening removes stains from the front surfaces of the teeth. This type of staining is usually the result of exposure to staining agents, which can include:
- Dark-colored food or beverages
Your teeth will remain whiter for as long as a year, though some people have reported positive results after several years. How you maintain your teeth after whitening will determine how long they’ll stay white. If you are careful to avoid staining agents, they will remain white much longer.
Keeping Your Teeth White after Treatment
After your whitening treatment, your cosmetic dentist will provide instructions about how to keep your teeth white as long as possible. The most important action you can take is to avoid the staining agents that discolored your teeth in the first place. You should also be sure to maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. Regular cleanings will help remove stains before they become severe.
An occasional touch-up treatment can also help your smile stay bright and white. Touch-up treatments are less intensive than the original whitening treatment, and can make a big difference in how long your whitening treatment results last. Ask our cosmetic dentists for guidelines on when you should return for a touch-up after your initial treatment.