How to Extend the Results of Teeth Whitening

Dec 19, 2022
How to Extend the Results of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening makes teeth bright, but how can you keep them that way? Read on to learn the ways to keep your teeth white between treatments.

Teeth are a fascinating part of the body and are tied to our complete health in numerous ways. They are similar to bones and have the hardest substance in your body on their surface (enamel). They are also unique enough to an individual that they can be used to identify people after they die. 

But teeth can be affected by many things, including the 300 different types of bacteria, plaque, and other particles from the foods you eat.

All of those factors can lead to tooth discoloration, which can affect your willingness to smile. Teeth whitening is a common method of treating discoloration, and there are many ways to accomplish brighter teeth with different whitening products. But many don’t last for a long time, so to look at how to keep your teeth bright, let’s examine why your teeth change color, how long teeth whitening typically lasts, and what you can do to make it last longer.

If you live in the Richmond Hill, Georgia, area and you’re looking for teeth whitening options, Dr. Nils Anderson and our experienced team at Village Dental can help.

Reasons teeth change color

While teeth are not naturally a pure white color, healthy teeth are close to white with pale yellow. The layers of teeth that determine color are the outer layer (enamel) and the middle layer (dentin, which is usually pale yellow). 

Yellow or darker teeth can be the result of staining from various factors described as either intrinsic (internal) or extrinsic (external), such as various foods and drinks, smoking or other forms of tobacco use, poor dental hygiene, disease, some medications, trauma, and environmental factors. Darker teeth can also be caused by genetic factors that increase as you age. 

Typical length of teeth whitening results

There are a wide variety of ways people try to brighten their teeth, including gels, strips, whitening toothpaste, professional in-office bleaching trays and at-home versions. Most at-home methods last for a few months, and many professional methods last up to three years. Here are some more details:

  • Over-the-counter methods: Whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, and strips can take several treatments before you see any results and last up to four months.
  • At-home trays: can take up to a week to start showing results, with the best results in about a month. Results can last up to a year.
  • In-office trays: can be done in a single visit. They can be combined with light infusion methods, and with proper care, the results can last up to three years.

Best ways to extend the results

Personal habits play a significant role in how long your results last. Here are some ways to extend the effectiveness of teeth whitening:

Foods to eat

The nutrients you get from foods and drinks rich in vitamins C, D, and calcium will help to strengthen your teeth. Cheese, milk, fish, and water will help your results last. Citrus fruits can be helpful, but they are not recommended immediately after teeth whitening, especially if your teeth are sensitive.

Foods to avoid

Dark-colored foods and drinks in your diet, like coffee, tea, red wine, and berries, can darken your teeth. Reduce the amount of all of these to keep your teeth brighter for longer.

Dental hygiene habits

Regular brushing and flossing will help to keep your teeth clean and avoid the buildup of particles and bacteria that lead to tooth damage and discoloration. Mouthwash can also help to protect against stains.

There are many ways your teeth can get discolored. Fortunately, there are many options to keep your teeth white. If you want to keep your smile bright, make an appointment with Dr. Anderson and Village Dental today.