If you’ve invested time, energy and money in teeth whitening, you undoubtedly want your results to last as long as possible. Although the effects of teeth whitening are not permanent, patients can take certain steps to extend the longevity of their results between touch-up treatments. In order to better understand how you can maximize your results, it’s helpful to know how teeth whitening treatments work in the first place.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Teeth whitening involves applying a gel that contains a bleaching agent to the teeth. This can be done via a custom-made tray provided by your cosmetic dentist, which you wear at home. Patients wear the tray for several hours a day as directed by the dentist. The bleaching agent then penetrates the enamel and releases the stain particles, leaving the teeth several shades whiter in the process.
However, over time, stain particles from substances like coffee, red wine or tobacco will work their way back into the enamel, re-staining the teeth. Therefore, patients need periodic touch-up treatments to maintain the results of teeth whitening treatments.
Maximizing the Benefits of Teeth Whitening
There are several steps that patients can take to maximize the benefits of teeth whitening. The first is to complete touch-up treatments according to the schedule recommended by your cosmetic dentist. This additional teeth whitening treatment will help you to stay on top of any additional stains that affect your teeth. You can also make a conscious effort to reduce or eliminate your consumption of things that can cause discoloration, like the beverages mentioned above. It also makes sense to stop smoking if you’re pursuing teeth whitening because smoking is a major culprit in tooth staining.
You’ll also get better results if you work with a dentist on this treatment. Professional-strength teeth whitening systems produce more noticeable and predictable results. Good oral hygiene practices are essential for supporting teeth whitening, too, as tartar buildup can cause the teeth to look dingy.
Do you have questions about how to make the most of your teeth whitening treatment? Call the office of Dr. Barry Buchanan today to schedule a consultation.