Stained teeth happen naturally over time as our porous tooth enamel absorbs the colors from what we eat and drink. If you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or red wine, or enjoy foods with dark or saturated colors such as blueberries, soy sauce, and curries, your teeth may be more stained than usual.
It goes without saying that stained teeth can impact both your confidence and appearance. When you want to whiten your teeth, especially before an event, you might be wondering: how long does it take to whiten teeth? The good news is that you can whiten teeth relatively quickly—in just one day in most cases.
Ways to Get Teeth Whitening
Here we discuss how you can whiten teeth fast and answer other questions we commonly get asked about professional teeth whitening in Asheville.
How to Whiten Your Teeth in One Day
Professional teeth whitening only takes about 90 minutes total at your dentist’s office. Therefore, you can have whiter teeth in just one day. The procedure has instantaneous effects, meaning you will leave your appointment with teeth whiter than you walked in with.
An in-office teeth whitening is an excellent way for people to whiten their teeth quickly who have an event such as a wedding coming up where they cannot wait weeks for at-home teeth whitening treatments to take effect.
In addition to taking a longer time to brighten teeth, store-bought teeth whitening kits will not have the dramatic effect of a professional teeth whitening.
How Many Teeth Whitening Sessions Do I Need?
Typically, patients only need one teeth whitening session. However, if you have teeth that have stubborn stains—or if you have had a professional teeth whitening done before but did not see the difference you’d hoped for—you may need more than one session. Your dentist in Asheville will let you know how many sessions you may need during your consultation based on your unique smile.
If Your Teeth Are Really Stained, Can They Become White?
Most people with severely stained teeth will respond to a professional teeth whitening. So even if your teeth are really stained, they can become white. However, there are a few cases in which severely stained teeth may not respond to a professional teeth whitening. These include people who have staining from:
- The antibiotic tetracycline, which causes intrinsic staining—meaning it comes from inside the tooth—that can’t be fixed with in-office whitening.
- Dental fluorosis, which is a condition that causes unusually white spots on the teeth and may require additional treatments to improve your appearance.
- Tooth decay, as any decay will need to be treated to restore the tooth’s color prior to considering teeth whitening.
It’s important to remember that if you have dental restorations such as crowns or veneers, these cannot be whitened. They would need to be replaced to change the color. So if you are considering teeth whitening, it’s best to do it before getting any dental restorations done if possible.
Does Teeth Whitening Damage Teeth?
When done properly, teeth whitening does not damage teeth. Your Asheville dentist will use the proper product strength for the appropriate length of time to safely and effectively whiten your teeth. Your dentist will also protect your gum tissue during the procedure from the whitening product.
The most common side effect patients experience after teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity, which is temporary. However, if you are using at-home whitening products and not using them as directed or overusing them, these products do have the potential to damage your teeth and cause uneven whitening or permanent sensitivity.
Professional teeth whitening is the safest and most effective way to get that brighter smile—and it takes significantly less time too!
How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?
The price of teeth whitening can vary depending on how many shades whiter you would like your teeth, how many sessions you need, and how well your teeth respond to the treatment. You can expect to spend a few hundred dollars on a teeth whitening session, but always get a quote from your dentist to know the exact amount.
Is Teeth Whitening Permanent?
While teeth whitening can last a long time, it is not permanent. This is because your teeth will naturally stain again over time from the foods and drinks you consume. If you take care of your teeth with regular cleanings and protect your teeth from staining—such as by using a straw when drinking teeth-staining beverages—your whiter teeth can last for years.
How Often Can You Whiten Your Teeth?
You can have your teeth whitened once a year or every couple years, depending on your unique smile and oral health. Often, people receive whitening touch-ups to keep their smile looking bright rather than getting a full whitening. Your dentist can let you know how often you can whiten your teeth depending on your oral health and your goals for your smile.
Are There Natural Ways to Whiten Teeth?
Yes! You can adopt habits such as using an electric toothbrush, visiting your dentist every six months for cleanings, and exercising caution when eating teeth-staining foods to keep your teeth naturally whiter. However, keep in mind that while your teeth may look brighter, these habits won’t deliver the dramatically whiter smile that an in-office whitening will.
How Long Should I Avoid Staining Foods After Whitening?
It’s recommended to avoid teeth-staining foods and drinks for at least 48 hours after your whitening procedure. Try to stick to white or light-colored foods and drinks (water is always best) to prevent your teeth from getting stained immediately after your procedure—it will help your teeth stay as bright as possible for as long as possible.
Let’s Discuss Your Brighter Smile
As long as your teeth and gums are healthy, you will likely qualify for in-office teeth whitening. Are your teeth stained, or do you just want a brighter smile to boost your confidence and look your best at an upcoming event? If so, let’s discuss your new smile—contact Saunders DDS today to book a consultation for professional teeth whitening at (828) 277-6060 or request an appointment online.
Teeth Whitening treatment is a great option if you want a brighter smile. Saunders DDS can help you decide which teeth whitening option works best for your needs. Book your appointment online today.