Over 80% of Americans don’t like how their teeth look. If you’re one of those people, you aren’t stuck with teeth you don’t like. Getting your teeth professionally whitened can completely transform your smile.
But is it worth it? How long does teeth whitening last? We’ve put together this guide to walk you through what you can expect when you get your teeth whitened. So let’s get started!
How Long Does Professional Teeth Whitening Take?
You can get your teeth professionally whitened in a single dentist appointment. You don’t have to schedule any type of follow up appointment, but the appointment itself can last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.
So make sure you have a chunk of time available in your day before you go in to get your teeth whitened.
The whitening process itself isn’t complicated. Here’s what you can expect.
At the beginning of your appointment, your dentist will make a record of the current color of your teeth. This will allow you to see a before and after comparison.
Next, your dentist will polish the surface of your teeth with pumice. This will remove any plaque or debris and prepare your teeth for the whitening solution.
Your dentist will isolate your mouth with gauze in order to keep your teeth dry. They may also use retractors to ensure your lips, cheeks, and tongue don’t come in contact with the whitening solution.
At this point, your dentist will also put a barrier along your gumline. The whitening solution can cause some amount of discomfort if it touches your gums, so this barrier will help keep you more comfortable during the whitening process.
Once your mouth is isolated and protected, your dentist will coat a thin layer of the whitening solution on the front surface of your teeth. The whitening solution will contain some type of bleaching agent, such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, that will lighten the shade of your teeth.
Your dentist will then turn on a curing light over your teeth to activate the peroxide.
The whitening solution has to sit on your teeth for 30 to 60 minutes (depending on the solution and your circumstances). Your dentist might have to reapply the solution once or twice during this time.
At the end of the appointment, you’ll rinse the solution off your teeth. If your teeth are feeling extra sensitive, your dentist might use a fluoride application to help reduce any pain.
Professional whitening works better on some teeth than others. For example, teeth that are stained more of a yellow color will lighten faster than teeth that are stained brown.
You may have to set up another appointment if your teeth haven’t reached the desired shade yet.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
After your appointment, you should stay away from foods that will stain your teeth for the first 24 hours.
This includes the following:
- Tomatoes (or tomato juice)
- Yellow mustard
- Tabacco (or any type of smoking)
Avoiding these foods for the first 24 hours will help your whitening last longer and stay at the desired shade.
But professional teeth whitening doesn’t last forever. It’s a good idea to go back in for another appointment every six months to upkeep your desired shade.
Make Your Teeth Whitening Appointment
So how long does teeth whitening last?
You should get your teeth professionally whitened every six months. If it’s about that time for you, we can help!
Make sure you click here to set up your appointment today!