What Is The Best Way To Whiten Your Teeth Long Term?

What Is The Best Way To Whiten Your Teeth Long Term?

Aug 01, 2023

A whiter, brighter, flawless smile is a common goal for millions. When dealing with teeth stains, teeth whitening is a cost-effective, faster, and virtually painless solution to remove teeth stains and enhance your smile.

However, many teeth whitening options can confuse you about the best way to whiten your teeth in the long term. In this article, let’s explore the various teeth whitening treatments and tips for managing your results for the long term.

Teeth Whitening Options

There are three main ways how you whiten your teeth, including:

  • Professional Teeth Whitening

A dental professional offers professional whitening and typically provides the most long-lasting results compared to other treatments. Before the whitening treatment, the dentist will examine your stains to determine whether teeth whitening is suitable. Internal stains, like those from tooth trauma or decay, may not respond to teeth whitening. In such a case, the dentist can recommend alternative solutions like dental veneers and crowns.

Professional teeth whitening comes with two options:

  • In-office teeth whitening. As the name suggests, in-office whitening is a chair-side treatment completed in the dental office. The dentist typically cleans your teeth to remove surface debris and stains. Then, the teeth are isolated to protect other soft tissues. Then, a highly concentrated bleaching agent is applied to the teeth. A special light or laser can activate the treatment for faster whitening. After the treatment, the dentist cleans your mouth thoroughly. In-office whitening offers dramatic and immediate results within two hours.
  • Take-home whitening kits. If you can’t have in-office whitening, the dentist can design a custom tray and whitening gel for use at home. A certain amount of gel should be put in the tray worn over teeth for a specific time every day for several weeks. Since take-home whitening gel contains fewer bleaching agents, it takes a few weeks to show results. However, it’s safe and offers long-term results.
  • Over-the-counter teeth whitening

You can try over-the-counter teeth whitening products if you can’t have professional teeth whitening. You can get these products at a nearby drug store or online store without a prescription. The products often contain bleaching or abrasive agents that help remove teeth stains. However, they contain lesser concentrated bleaches than professional treatments, meaning it can take a while to show results.

These whitening products can include:

  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening trays
  • Whitening mouthwashes or rinses

It’s worth noting that not all whitening products obtained over the counter are safe or quality. Some contain abrasive ingredients that could erode your teeth and irritate your gums. It’s essential to choose products approved by reputable bodies like the ADA. You can also consult your dentist about safe and quality whitening products.

  • Home-based teeth whitening

DIY home whitening is also a common way to whiten your teeth. This option involves using home remedies or products to remove teeth stains. These can include:

  • Baking soda
  • Activated charcoal
  • Oil pulling
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Citrus juice

It’s worth noting that most of these products may only be effective for mild teeth stains, and their results may be shorter than professional teeth whitening. Similarly, most home-based products for teeth whitening are highly abrasive, which can erode your teeth if used regularly. You should use them sparingly.

Maintaining Your Whitened Smile Longer

Below are effective tips and strategies for maintaining your new, whiter smile for the long term:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Brushing, flossing, and rinsing can help remove bacterial buildup and food debris from teeth, preventing staining. It helps you maintain a healthy and brighter smile. Good oral hygiene practices include:

  • Brush twice daily for about two minutes at a time.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush and be gentle. Avoid aggressive brushing.
  • Floss at least once daily.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash. Avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes.
  • Avoid staining habits.

While it might not be possible to avoid staining foods, drinks, or habits altogether, you can minimize your exposure to maintain the shine of your teeth. If you take these items, you can brush or rinse them thoroughly to reduce potential staining. For staining cold beverages, you can use a straw to minimize any contact and reduce your risk of staining. Staining items to watch out for include coffee, red wine, tea, colored soda, tomatoes, and tobacco.

  • Regular dental check-ups

Routine visits allow your dentist or hygienist to clean and polish your teeth, keeping them clean and bright. The dentist also reviews your oral health and addresses potential issues to prevent further complications.

Get Teeth Whitening in South Hadley, MA

Are you interested in teeth whitening? Contact South Hadley Dental Group to book a consultation with our teeth whitening dentist.

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