There’s nothing quite like the feeling and look of freshly whitened teeth. In the first few days after having your teeth professionally whitened, you might be wondering if there is a way to keep them like that forever.
Unfortunately, there isn’t such a thing as permanent teeth whitening, but there are options for those who want to maintain or extend the results. This blog will explore your options for keeping your teeth looking bright and white for longer.
Is permanent teeth whitening an option?
First things first, let’s explore what permanent teeth whitening means. Whitening treatments at your dentist could be considered permanent, but many people will notice staining returns because of their choice of food and drink.
Staining will reoccur if you continue to eat the same food and drink that caused staining the first time. And most foods will cause staining, so there is little chance of being able to avoid this fate.
How does teeth whitening work?
Teeth whitening treatments contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. This is applied to the teeth where it penetrates the tooth surface. While your teeth might look solid, they actually contain very small holes which make them porous. This is one reason they are susceptible to staining.
When exposed to air, the teeth whitening solution goes through a process called oxidation. This breaks up the staining particles and flushes them out of the tooth. The result is whiter and brighter teeth.
Your teeth might be a little more sensitive for a few days after teeth whitening as the small channels that allow the teeth whitening solution into the tooth need time to close.
What will cause teeth staining to return?
There are several factors that lead to tooth discolouration. The most common is food and drink choices. Things like tea, coffee and red wine will all leave deposits on the teeth. Tomato sauces and spices like turmeric will also cause staining.
In the days after teeth whitening, it’s a good idea to avoid staining foods entirely. Drinking from a straw will help to protect your teeth. You could also switch to pale and soft foods to keep your teeth looking brighter for longer.
How can I keep my teeth white for longer?
Avoiding staining foods is a great place to start, but you should also remember to brush and floss daily. Daily brushing and flossing will ensure there is nowhere for the staining particles to hide. If you’re not sure if you’re brushing correctly, ask for help and support from one of our dental hygienists. They can give you helpful tips to make sure you’re getting all surfaces in your mouth.
You can also use your custom teeth whitening trays to do top-up treatments periodically. Your dentist will outline how often you will need to top-up your treatment to ensure maximum results with minimal sensitivity.
If you whiten your teeth too much, there is a risk that your teeth could become dehydrated. This could lead to uneven colouring with white patches and increased sensitivity. This is why it is important to follow your dentist’s advice when carrying out teeth whitening treatments.
What if my teeth cannot be whitened?
Some people will not get the results they want from teeth whitening treatments. This can be the result of age, genetics, trauma to the tooth, or medications that have caused discolouration. In this case, the best option for changing the colour of your teeth would be with a permanent restoration like a veneer. This would also allow you to change the shape, alignment and positioning of your teeth.
You could also choose composite bonding as a cost-effective alternative to a veneer. While this would need to be replaced sooner than a veneer, it could be the ideal choice for a quick and effective smile transformation ahead of a special event.
If you’re ready to explore your options for whitening your teeth, get in touch with our team today. We will arrange a consultation to help you determine the best treatment option for your goals and your budget.