No matter how perfect you attempt to make your smile, the natural accumulation of stain over time renders us less than picture-perfect. This article will help you determine when to whiten your teeth and review some hints for safely getting the most out of teeth whitening services.
Your teeth are delicate, and it is important not to overuse teeth whitening products as this can cause considerable damage. However, all products have been developed slightly differently, with different treatment times and plans advisable for each. You should always refer to instructions to find out how to achieve the best results from your teeth whitening product and prevent damaging your teeth.
There are three main warning signs when it comes to repeated tooth whitening. If any of them apply, then it is too soon for you to whiten your teeth again.
If your teeth are feeling sensitive, particularly to cold, then it is too soon to whiten them again. If overdone, teeth whitening methods can increase sensitivity which would worsen the problem.
Before you whiten your teeth if your gums are already swollen or bleeding you should visit your dentist. They can advise you on how to stop the bleeding and reduce the inflammation as well as when you can consider another whitening treatment.
You should also see your dentist before you carry out more whitening if your teeth appear to be blue or look transparent along the edges. This is best done sooner rather than later.
How Often Is It Safe To Whiten Teeth?
In-Office Professional Whitening
Of all the tooth whitening options, visiting your dentist will give the longest-lasting results, but it will also cost the most. Teeth whitening from your dentist will usually last for a year or two without requiring touch-ups, but contact them for personal advice before deciding because the products used will vary between different practices, and some will require a different time lapse between treatments.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Pre-packaged teeth whitening kits have different concentrations of the active ingredients compared to professional teeth whitening that you can get at the dentist. The concentrations of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide are usually lower than dentists use because they have been specially formulated to be safe for use by people who are untrained and unqualified. They therefore usually require more treatments.
Some at-home kits require as many as 30 treatments, but other than these, as a general rule, dentists recommend you do not use at-home kits for more than two weeks consecutively. In addition, once you have completed your treatment plan you should not use teeth whitening again for at least 6 months. Similarly, make sure you do not exceed the application times given in the instructions.
At-Home Kits From Your Dentist
If you have purchased an at-home whitening kit from your dentist, you should use it only once a year. These are usually stronger than the kits that you can buy over the counter, and you should follow the instructions carefully in order to prevent damage to your teeth and the rest of your mouth.
To give you a guide, we have compiled a selection of tooth whitening methods so you can see how often to use them safely. For full guidelines, however, please refer to the manufacturers directly.
How Often Can You Bleach Your Teeth With Opalescence?
Opalescence is a make of at-home teeth whitening products which are dispensed by licensed dental professionals. They sell several different strengths of teeth whitening products, ranging from 10% to 45%. Depending on which one you go for, you could be using it for 15 minutes per session for a few days, or leaving it on overnight.
How Often Should You Whiten Your Teeth With Crest White Strips?
The Crest 3D Whitestrips can be used back to back on consecutive days for up to 20 days, but only wear each strip for the time limit directed in the instructions. A slightly different variant, the Crest 3D Monthly Whitening Boost Whitestrips are designed to be used for 1 hour, once a month.
How Often Should I Whiten My Teeth With Activated Charcoal?
Charcoal is an unproven method of teeth whitening. It is also naturally abrasive like baking soda, and some dentists have reported findings that it actually gets trapped into the pores of the teeth, which would have a darkening effect on the teeth – the opposite to what you are looking for! It is better to stick to proven, and medically tested methods of teeth whitening, like at-home kits.
How Often Should I Whiten My Teeth With Baking Soda And Lemon?
It is not advisable to use this method to whiten teeth at all. Baking soda is naturally abrasive and lemon juice is highly acidic. It also does not utilise fluoride in the ingredients like professional tooth whitening does. Fluoride is a substance which helps to strengthen teeth and prevents cavities from forming, which is present in toothpaste and often even in tap water. Using this method can severely damage the enamel on your teeth which can cause yellowing, sensitivity and decay as time goes on. It can also weaken dental glue, so should not be used if you have braces. Similarly, baking soda should not be used with peroxide for the same reasons.
How To Prolong The Life Of Your Teeth Whitening.
The better you look after your teeth, the longer your teeth whitening treatment will last. Some influences are genetic, or due to trauma which you have little control over. Therefore you need to understand the key factors that will cause discoloration so that you can eliminate them from your lifestyle.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
This is of course the most important. Cleaning your teeth will remove debris from food that can cause stains and will reduce the rate of tartar and plaque build-up. Floss and brush your teeth for 2 minutes at least twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste, and use a mouthwash regularly.
Smoking is very bad for your overall health in many ways. As far as your teeth are concerned, the nicotine and tar content causes gum disease and extreme discoloration of the teeth, meaning they will turn yellow or even brown. Stopping smoking will prevent the build-up getting worse and improve your breath.
Have Regular Check-Ups
A frequent visit to your dentist will give you personal advice on how your teeth are holding up. They will check for cavities and decay, as well as the building up of discoloration-causing tartar and plaque. They can give you a scale and polish to remove tartar which can lengthen the life of your whitening procedure. They can also advise you if you need another whitening or if it would be better to wait longer in between.
Use A Straw
Drinking through a straw will prevent stain-causing beverages from coming into contact with the surface of the tooth and therefore prevent staining. This is also true of highly acidic drinks such as orange juice, which can affect the quality of the enamel and make you more prone to tooth discoloration and decay.
Minimize Stain-Causing Foods And Beverages
Wine, tea, coffee, sodas, berries, pomegranates, sweets, tomato sauce and curries are all items we consume which cause discoloration of the teeth. To prolong the life of your newly whitened teeth, cut these items down as much as possible and make sure you clean your teeth thoroughly after you have consumed them.