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How to make teeth whitening last longer!

After spending time and money how can you make teeth whitening last longer. Whether you opted for an in-office teeth-whitening treatment or spent weeks whitening your teeth at home, the last thing you want to see in the mirror is discolouration. You may now begin to wonder, “how can I keep my teeth white?”

1. To make teeth whitening last longer it helps to avoid certain foods. Avoid the consumption of excessive or exposure to products that stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, and red wine, curry, and Bolognese sauce. If you do choose to consume beverages that stain, consider using a straw so that the liquid bypasses your front teeth.

2. Brush or rinse immediately after consuming stain-causing beverages or foods.

3. Follow good oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth at least twice daily; floss at least once a day to remove plaque, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash at least once every day to kill bacteria that cause plaque.

4. Use a whitening toothpaste (once or twice a week only) to remove surface stains. Use a regular toothpaste the rest of the time. Over-the-counter toothpaste, gels, and rinses help remove some surface stains. Many of these products contain mild abrasives, chemicals, or polishing agents. Unlike bleaches, they don’t change the natural colour of teeth.

5. Consider touch-up treatments. Depending on the whitening method used, you may need a touch-up every six months or year. If you smoke or drink lots of stain-causing beverages, you may need a touch up more often. To keep your teeth white in the long-term, ask your dentist about making a custom tray for you so you can whiten at home. When your teeth start to yellow again from eating and drinking, you can use your fitted mouth tray and whitening gel to return your teeth to the colour you want. Be sure to talk to your dentist before whitening and only use bleaching products that have the Dental Association Seal of Acceptance or were given to you by your dentist.

 

Tooth-Whitening Kits

Home tooth-whitening kits contain carbamide peroxide, bleach that can remove both deep and surface stains and changes your natural tooth colour. With some packages, you apply a peroxide-based gel (with a small brush) to the surface of your teeth. In other kits, the gel is in a tray that moulds to the teeth. The tray must be worn daily (for 1 or 2 hours) for a week or more.How to make teeth whitening last longer

 

Home Whitening Strips

Home whitening strips will help get rid of tooth stains. These pieces are very thin, virtually invisible, and are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. You wear them a few minutes daily for a week or more. Results are visible in just a few days and last at least a year. The results with strips are not as dramatic as with whitening kits, but the strips are easy to use and pretty much foolproof
make teeth whitening last longer

Remedies for Whiter Teeth

Some people still prefer the age-old home remedy of baking soda and a toothbrush to whiten teeth at home gently.

Do not be tempted to use this method. Often, baking soda will eventually damage the enamel of your teeth, and they will stain quicker and easier.

Some foods such as celery, apples, pineapple, pears, and carrots trigger lots of salivae, which helps wash away food debris on your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum is a tooth-cleaning action and also triggers saliva. An additional bonus from all that saliva is that it neutralises the acid that causes tooth decay. With teeth, more saliva is better all around.

Tooth Whitening and Dental Work

Approach tooth whitening with caution if you have lots of dental veneers, bonding, fillings, crowns, and bridges. Bleach will not lighten them, meaning they will stand out among your newly whitened natural teeth. To match your whiter teeth, you may need to carry out new dental work, including veneers, crowns or composites.

To Keep Teeth White, Don’t Light Up

Not only is it bad for your health, but smoking is also one of the worst offenders when it comes to staining teeth. Tobacco does not make teeth whitening last longer. Tobacco causes brown stains that penetrate the grooves and pits of tooth enamel. Tobacco stains can be hard to remove by brushing alone. The longer you smoke, the more entrenched the stains become. Smoking also causes bad breath and gingivitis (gum disease) and increases the risk of most types of cancer.

 

Preventing Teeth Stains

As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away. The underlying layer, called dentin, is yellower. That’s why it’s important to try to avoid staining teeth in the first place, especially after whitening. If you take care of foods and drinks that discolour teeth, the results of whitening may last up to one year.

Foods that Cause Teeth Stains

There’s another reason to watch what you eat especially to make teeth whitening last longer. Some common foods can discolour teeth. Here’s an easy way to tell if food might be at fault: Anything that can stain a white cotton T-shirt can stain teeth. Coffee stains teeth, for example. Other top offenders are beverages such as tea, dark sodas, and fruit juices. They may be packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, but a glass of red wine, cranberry juice, or grape juice also stains teeth easily. However, that doesn’t mean you should give them up, but, instead, remember to rinse your mouth after you drink them. These aren’t the only teeth-staining foods to be aware; the deep colour of some fruits and veggies gives them their nutritional punch. Blueberries, blackberries, and beets leave their tone on teeth as well. Eat up for your health, and prevent tooth stains by:
• Brushing teeth immediately after eating.
• Rinsing your mouth with water.

 

Sports Drinks on Teeth

While all sweetened drinks are bad for teeth, some energy and sports drinks may be worse, according to one study in General Dentistry. To make teeth whitening last longer its best to avoid these. Researchers found that these beverages — as well as bottled lemonade — may erode tooth enamel after long-term use. The result is thin, translucent, discoloured teeth. To prevent tooth erosion:
• Don’t sit and sip these drinks for a long time.
• Rinse your mouth with water when you finish drinking.

Medications That Can Stain Teeth

The antibiotic tetracycline causes greyness in children whose teeth are still developing.

Antibacterial mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain teeth.

Some antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and blood pressure medications cause tooth stains like can iron and excess fluoride.

If bleaching doesn’t help, ask your dentist about dental bonding, in which tooth-colored material is applied to teeth.

Don’t Forget Daily Maintenance

One simple strategy can help maintain white teeth: brushing.

Brush at least twice daily. Even better, brush after every meal and snack. Brushing helps prevent stains and yellow teeth, especially at the gum line. Both electric and sonic toothbrushes may be superior to traditional toothbrushes in removing plaque and surface stains on teeth. Also, don’t forget to floss and use an antiseptic mouthwash.make teeth whitening last longer

Read more on our teeth whitening service .

Professional teeth whitening – white teeth or white lies?

Professional teeth whitening has been around for decades, coming in all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of fancy tech to go alongside it, each format claiming to be better than the rest. There have also been some significant changes in the Professional Teeth whitening industry in the past five years, and I’m here to go through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Firstly let’s discuss the different methods of whitening out there…

1. Home-whitening kit

This usually consists of two visits to the dentist, where an upper and lower mould is taken, and two thin mouth-guard looking trays are made. The second visit is to check the fit of the trays and to show you how the bleach should be placed. The bleaching trays in this Professional Teeth whitening treatment are typically worn at night and results can be expected after a couple of weeks depending on the consistency of use. Home bleaching kits come in two strengths – 10% (hydrogen peroxide) and 16% (carbamide peroxide which is roughly 4% hydrogen peroxide). The 16% is usually for nightwear or patients with sensitive teeth; results will take a little longer than the higher strength. The 10% is used for 1-2 hours during the day (it is essential that you do not eat or drink with the bleaching trays in the mouth). Best results are usually achieved after two weeks of consistent wear, but can heavily depend on the patient’s dietary habits, start colour and desired colour. Relatively risk-free, it can sometimes lead to sensitivity if overused. However, the sensitivity is usually transient and will resolve just by having a break day of no bleaching. Sensitive toothpaste such as Sensodyne has also proven useful in tackling sensitivity in conjunction with painkillers if necessary. This method is excellent for maintaining a consistently white smile in a reasonably low effort manner at your leisure and works well in conjunction with chair-side whitening (which can act as a booster for the home kit).
Professional Teeth whitening

2. Chair-side/laser whitening

This is a great way to boost the brightness of your teeth in just 1 hour! This Professional Teeth whitening procedure is usually about 1 hour long from start to finish and will include the dentist having a quick look to ensure that you are dentally sound for the process, followed by drying and isolating the teeth and then brushing the bleach onto the teeth. The bleach is then activated by a unique light (not an actual laser, contrary to popular belief), which sets it all into motion. The product is renewed every 15-20 mins either two or three time to ensure maximum results. Following some issues with overly sensitised teeth and gum damage following chair-side whitening, in 2012 the laws changed to prevent such damage from occurring so haphazardly. The percentage of hydrogen peroxide (the active ingredient that causes the tooth to whiten) has been decreased to 6%. This procedure can only be carried out by a dentist or under the direct supervision of a dentist and is only available for.

Now time for the mythbusters

Will your teeth get sensitivity?

Possibly, but unlikely. Due to the decrease in the strength of the bleach for the chair-side whitening, sensitivity is very unlikely. You may have a little bit of tenderness straight after the procedure purely due to the teeth being so dry. But it is usually a very temporary and short-lived side-effect. You may notice that you might get sensitivity when using the home kit – if that’s the case just reduce the length of time wearing the bleaching tray or give yourself a day or two breaks, as mentioned previously.
Professional Teeth whitening diagram

Will it damage your gums?

Extremely unlikely unless the bleach has been rubbed into the gums, which shouldn’t be happening. If you have opted for the chairside whitening, then the dentist will ensure your gums are clear. If you are using the home kit, the dentist will show you how to place the bleach to prevent any overspill into the gums. It’s essential that when you put your bleaching guards, that you run your finger or cloth around the edge of the bleaching guard to ensure that any excess is wiped away. It is challenging to cause any damage following any whitening provided you follow the instructions carefully and use FDA approved bleach given by the dentist. Most patients suffer from issues after whitening by using black market products or not employing the product correctly.

Will I look like Simon Cowell?

This is a common worry; it is quite hard to achieve that level of white in one sitting. Bleaching teeth both chair-side and at home are following treatments. It is difficult to guarantee what shade you will have by the end of the procedure. On average, you can go up two shades using chairside whitening. With the home kit, it varies greatly depending on how often and for how long the bleaching guards are worn. As it is an extremely progressive option, you can keep going until you achieve the shade you want and then stop. You are in control! If you want just a little bit of brightness, or if you wish to individual spotlights on your teeth, you get to choose!

Will it be white forever?

Unfortunately no. Professional Teeth whitening effects can last anywhere from 3 months to 3 years. It’s tough to say, as it is slowly dependant on your eating habits and your desired shade. Avoiding foods like red wine, coffee, black tea, curries and other coloured foods will increase the longevity of your whitening treatment, but the teeth will naturally dim down with time, as with anything that is shiny! But fear not, not all is lost, you can either come in again for a top-up of your chair-side whitening or just continue with your home kit until you go back to the shade that you wanted. On average, patients come every six months or so for chair-side whitening to maintain their brighter tone. The home kit should be reused in a similar time frame.

Can I pick what shade I want to achieve?

It is hard to predict how well chair-side whitening will work and what shade will be achieved per visit, as every patient is different. On average, most patients can achieve up to 2 shades lighter in one visit and can either return for a top-up visit a couple of weeks later or to continue with the home whitening kit until they achieve the desired shade. Home kits are considered to be more consistent and predictable with their results. However, the time is taken to make the desired shade can vary considerably patient to patient.

Can I get sick if I swallow the bleach?

You’d have to swallow the whole syringe pretty much! There may be some small amounts of excess bleach that will get lost in the saliva, but as long as you follow instructions, there shouldn’t ever be a sufficient amount of product free floating around to cause any sickness. Some patients may be allergic to bleach, in which case they should be avoiding this Professional Teeth whitening treatment all together!

Do I have to avoid all dark foods and drinks?

Generally, the longer you avoid such foods or at least cut them down in your diet, the longer lasting the results will be. Food colourants are the primary cause of dark teeth and build up with time. Avoiding or limiting such foods and also seeing your hygienist regularly, will allow for longer lasting optimum results. We understand that not everyone can live without coffee, so even by rinsing your mouth with some water after having any staining food or drink will also help.

Do oil pulling and other over the counter whitening products work?

Tricky to answer accurately, but overall the whitening effects are very minor and very short lived. Stores are not legally allowed to sell the strong stuff. Therefore anything that you can buy from a pharmacy or supermarket is going to be significantly weaker than what the dentist can provide you with.

So there you have it, tooth whitening, stripped bare! The new no-frills whitening has proven itself a great success amongst regular clients who are extremely happy with their pain-free long-lasting results. Feel free to pop in or give us a call if you want any further information. We look forward to providing you those pearly whites you deserve!

Also have a look at the risks of unsafe teeth whitening.