How Often Should You Whiten Your Teeth?

One of the factors when considering whitening your teeth is how often you need to do it. The answer depends mostly on how you whiten your teeth and what has caused your teeth to be stained or discolored. It is always important to follow the advice of your dentist for your initial treatment. You should never use a home whitening kit that does not have the ADA seal of approval, so ask your dentist what kits they recommend is always wise. The dentist has the first-hand experience with whitening products and is the best resource to find out which kit would work best for you. When using a home whitening method, follow the kit directions for as many treatments as you need to reach the desired shade of whiteness. Most at-home whitening kits allow you to achieve your whitening ability after 7-14 days of treatment. Each whitening kit is different, so be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow the instructions. Once that shade has been achieved, the transition to the maintenance side of whitening depending on your lifestyle and home care. In-office bleaching is prescribed once a year, with in-between treatments at home. Each patient has a slightly different whitening plan, based on their dental health and the natural shade of their enamel.

Things to Consider

  • Professional Whitening–Teeth whitening in your dentist's office typically lasts at least a year, often a few years, before you need to do it again.
  • Advanced At-Home Whitening–Whitening your teeth with an advanced kit that you take home from your dentist may usually be done once a year.
  • Pre-packaged Home Whitening Kits–Store purchased kits need more procedures, more often than professional ones, and it is important to follow the instructions. It is advised that you do not use these items for more than 2 weeks at a time and not more than twice a year.
  • Intrinsic Stains–these are the stains or discolorations underneath the enamel of your teeth. Teeth whitening products may do nothing to remove these stains.
  • Extrinsic Stains–These are marks or discolorations that are on the surface of your tooth and are the simplest to remove teeth whitening products.

It is important to follow the advice of your dentist or over-the-counter program as long as it takes to reach the desired shade of whiteness. Once that shade is achieved, you are in the maintenance stage of whitening, and that is where it becomes very individualized on the basis of your ideal whiteness, diet and home care. Most will only need touch-ups every couple of months, while others will need to do so every couple of weeks to keep their smiles going.

Since any teeth whitening procedure works best after a complete cleaning procedure and it is always advisable to talk to your dentist or doctor before any treatment is performed, it is recommended that you talk to your dentist about teeth whitening during your periodic dental cleaning appointment. Follow the directions for all teeth-whitening products exactly. And ask your doctor what products he knows are safe and effective before buying anything on your own.


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