How Close to an Event Should You Start Teeth Whitening?

bride smiling after teeth whitening

A radiant set of pearly whites is sometimes all it takes to boost one’s confidence. Whether you’re getting married, graduating, or interviewing for jobs, teeth whitening can help you get the most out of these social events. Not only will you look your best, but you’ll feel your best too!

However, results don’t magically appear overnight—you will need to plan in advance for this treatment. Do you have a special event coming up? Read along to find out how close to an event you should start whitening your teeth.

When Should I Start Teeth Whitening?

Most cosmetic dentists offer two types of teeth whitening treatments: in-office and take-home. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s best to plan ahead to ensure your teeth will be whitest on your special day. Take into consideration how quickly you want to see results and your scheduling needs when making your decision.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

Professional in-office teeth whitening treatment is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures. It’s preferred over other methods because results are quick and long-lasting. In just one hour, your dentist can make your grin several shades lighter!

The procedure involves applying a professional-strength bleaching gel to your teeth, which breaks down stubborn stain molecules in your tooth’s enamel. After a few minutes, your dentist will wipe off the gel, removing the stains with it. This can be repeated until you achieve your desired results.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening

Would you prefer to undergo treatment in the comfort of your own home? If so, your dentist offers take-home whitening kits, another common and effective procedure that involves the use of bleaching gel. First, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to custom-make trays that are guaranteed to fit your mouth perfectly. You fill your trays with the special gel and wear them for the instructed amount of time each day (usually around 30 minutes). For best results, it’s recommended to wear the trays daily for about two weeks.

Tips for Maintaining Your Results

Even though professional whitening treatments have more longevity than store-bought ones, taking the following precautions will help you maintain your results:

  • Practice good oral hygiene (brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily)
  • Use a whitening toothpaste a few times a week to prevent staining
  • Limit foods that cause discoloration (coffee, tea, wine, berries, tomatoes)
  • Minimize contact with drinks that stain (use a straw or drink quickly rather than sipping)

All in all, it’s recommended to start whitening your grin about four to six weeks before your event. It allows your teeth time to overcome any sensitivity caused by the treatment and for you to achieve your ideal smile.

About the Author

Dr. Lance Timmerman’s greatest joy is seeing people smile brighter after their appointments. After graduating from Oral Health and Sciences University, he pursued continuing education diligently and studied specialties like cosmetic dentistry and dental implants. With over 20 years of experience in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Timmerman can help you transform your pearly whites just in time for your special day. If you’re ready to invest in a brighter smile, schedule an appointment via our website or by calling (206) 241-5533.

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