How Often Should You Whiten Your Teeth?
When considering whitening your teeth, one of the considerations is how often you need to do it. The answer depends largely how you are going to have your teeth whitened and what has caused your teeth to be stained or discolored.
Let’s start by talking about how you are going to whiten your teeth:
Professional Whitening – Teeth whitening in your dentist’s office usually lasts at least a year, sometimes for a few years, before needing to be done again.
Professional At-Home Whitening – Whitening your teeth with a professional kit that you take home from the dentist can usually be done once a year.
Pre-packaged Home Whitening Kits – The store bought kits require more treatments, more often than the professional ones, and it is important to follow the directions. It is recommended that you not use these products for more than 2 weeks at a time and not more often than twice a year.
The other consideration is the nature of the stains on your teeth. There are basically two kinds of stains:
Intrinsic – These are stains or discolorations that are underneath the enamel of your tooth. Teeth whitening products may not do anything to remove these stains.
Extrinsic – These are stains or discolorations that are on the surface of your tooth and are the easiest for teeth whitening products to remove.
The kind of discoloration on your teeth can be determined by your dentist. Since any teeth whitening procedure works best after a complete cleaning and it is always advisable to talk to your dentist or physician before undergoing any treatments, it is recommended that you talk to your dentist about teeth whitening during your regularly scheduled dental cleaning appointment.
Stay tuned for the next section in this series about teeth whitening: Common risks associated with whitening.