How Long Does Teeth Bleaching Last?
Over the years, teeth bleaching has become the most popular cosmetic dental treatment. By spending as little as one hour in the dental chair, you can leave your dentist’s office with a whiter and brighter smile. Not to mention the bleaching agents are topically applied, which means no dental drills and no needles. As a final benefit, teeth bleaching won’t cost you the same expense as other cosmetic treatments.
Still, the one downfall about teeth bleaching is that the results are not permanent and will eventually fade away. At this point, you’re probably wondering how long does teeth bleaching last. As someone considering having their teeth bleached, this is an essential question to determine if this is the right procedure for you.
When considering having your teeth bleached, it is important to realize that there is no absolute answer to how long your results will last. The experts note that bleaching results can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, with the average falling around 1 year. This wide range is due to the fact that how long your teeth stay white will partially depend on factors out of your control, as well as things you can control, like your diet and oral hygiene.
First, let’s take a look at the factors that are out of your control. These include things like age, genetics, and whether you are taking certain medications. While your dentist will discuss your age and possible medications ahead of time, it is harder to know if your genetics will respond to whitening treatments. In some cases, your dentist may recommend a different cosmetic dental treatment if they don’t believe teeth bleaching is ideal for you.
Teeth bleaching procedures may or may not be ideal for you because of the way they work. When having your teeth professionally bleached, your dentist will apply the bleaching agent to the surface of your teeth and let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. During this time, the bleaching agent is absorbed into the enamel and dentin layers of the teeth. It then acts as a catalyst for a chemical reaction that breaks apart the molecular bonds of discolored molecules. In simple terms, bleaching agents dissolve the stains from the inside out. However, there are certain bonds that may not be able to be broken, thus meaning the stain cannot be removed.
However, the majority of stains caused by foods and beverages usually can be removed. This brings us to things that you can control, such as diet and your oral hygiene routine. Both are both important factors that determine how long your bleaching results will last.
Let’s start with diet. Just about everything you eat or drink has some type of color to it. The higher the pigment concentration, the more likely that it will stain your teeth. Simply stated, the more dark foods you eat, the faster your results will fade. Therefore, to keep your bleaching results lasting longer, you will want to avoid or minimize the amount of highly pigmented foods and beverages you consume.
It’s not just diet that can affect your results, but it is also your oral hygiene habits. Although plaque is naturally colorless, it can become stained by the things you consume and can eventually cause your teeth to stain. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to be diligent with brushing, flossing, and your semi-annual teeth cleanings in order to keep your results lasting longer.
As you can see, the question of how long teeth bleaching lasts has quite an extensive answer. While the estimated range is 6 months to 3 years with the average being 1 year, this is only an estimate and can vary from patient to patient. Factors such as age, genetics, medications, diet, and oral hygiene habits can all affect the lifespan of teeth bleaching. Therefore, you will need to consider your devotion to treatment to keep your teeth looking brighter for longer.
Dr. Speer prides himself on excellence in all aspects of dentistry. He stays up to date on the latest technologies by attending various continuing education courses throughout the year. He also enjoys volunteering his time and expertise at events, such as Portland Mission of Mercy. He is a member of the Clackamas County Dental Society, Oregon Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. He is also the former President of the Oregon Chapter of Delta Sigma Delta, an international Dental Fraternity.