Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How often should I have my teeth whitened?"
Is this an annual thing? What if I go years without whitening? Will I need to whiten several times a year when I start again?
Whitening is a cosmetic procedure that is becoming very popular for improving the color of the teeth. There are numerous whitening or bleaching products that are available for use. These can be broken down into product that you by in the pharmacy over the counter (whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, etc) and product that only your dentist can apply. These different products vary widely in their effectiveness and method of use. Generally speaking, the various over the counter whitening products are not very effective. At the same time, they are not very dangerous, and you should be safe to use them as directed on the product packaging (be careful to read the packaging closely as each product is different and requires a different application method). Bleaching agents that are applied by your dentist are much more effective. However, you should consult with your dentist prior to using these as they have some side effects, such as chemical burns and worsening tooth sensitivity. After consulting with your dentist, they will be able to tell you whether a bleaching procedure is right for you and, if so, how often you should have the procedure performed. They will also be able to answer your questions about how frequently you should bleach in order to maintain the look you want.
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