How long does teeth whitening last?

Most adults, if not all, have looked into whitening their teeth at least once in their life. The truth is, the importance of a shiny and clean-looking smile cannot be overlooked. In a nutshell, teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental treatment which entails bleaching your teeth for them to become whiter. There are many ways to whiten your teeth. If you are wondering how long does teeth whitening last, it depends on the method you choose. Read more as we tell you everything you need to know about teeth whitening and how long does it last.

How long does teeth whitening last?

How long does a teeth whitening treatment last will all depend on which method you choose to go through.  When it comes to over-the-counter teeth whitening options - like whitening toothpaste, gels, whitening strips or bleaching products - you may need to consistently use them for several weeks in order to see results.

Here is an overall look at the methods used to whiten teeth and how long they last after whitening:

1) When it comes to whitening toothpastes, the results will be visible a few weeks after consistent use and also disappear after a few weeks if you stop using the related product. If your lifestyle includes caffeine and/or smoking, this will decrease the time your teeth are white.

2) Whitening gels or whitening strips contain peroxide, which is the substance that will do the whitening work. In general, gels or strips have to be used regularly for a duration of 2 weeks in order to see results. Your teeth will stay white for approximately 4 months after treatment.

3) Professional white cleaning, which is the most costly (teeth whitening cost) but the most recommended, has more immediate and durable results (up to a year).

It is important to note that, no matter which method you choose, make sure it is safe for your teeth, gums and overall health. You can read more about teeth whitening safety here (is teeth whitening safe).

How long does professional teeth whitening last ?

So, you’ve decided to get your teeth whitened at the dentist’s. But how long does in-office teeth whitening last? Since the dentist will be using stronger products than over-the-counter methods to bleach your teeth, the results are faster and last longer than the other methods. You can read all about teeth whitening cost here (teeth whitening cost).

After ensuring the bleaching products don’t harm your gums, the dentist will either do the work in-clinic or give you take-home trays with very specific instructions to follow (usually over the course of 2 weeks). Depending on your lifestyle and your oral hygiene, your teeth will stay white for up to a year after that. Your eating, lifestyle and oral hygiene habits will largely contribute to how long your teeth will stay white after treatment. Click here for some teeth whitening before and after pictures (teeth whitening before and after).  

How often should I whiten my teeth?

Depending on how long your teeth stay white after whitening, as well as the state of your teeth and gums that will need to be checked regularly by your dentist, you can whiten your teeth a year after going through an in-clinic or over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments. It is usually recommended to avoid whitening teeth too often as this could lead to teeth sensitivity. Read more about it here (is teeth whitening safe). Also, in the case of at-home professional teeth whitening where trays are given to you,  make sure you use the tooth whitening tray 4 hours apart. This will give enough time for the enamel to recover.

4 factors that affect how long teeth bleaching lasts

There are 4 main factors that influence how long your teeth stay white after whitening:

[Factor 1] - Eating and Lifestyle Habits

Some foods are prone to staining your teeth. Avoiding them or eating them in moderation will help your teeth stay white longer. Also, avoiding smoking will make a big difference. Some of the foods and drinks to avoid would be: coffee, tea, red wine, dark fruits and dark fruit juices, chocolate, read or brown sauces, and acidic foods.

[Factor 2] - Oral Health and Hygiene

Oral hygiene is of very high importance when it comes to how long your teeth whitening lasts. If you properly clean your teeth, they will stay white for longer. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, mouthwash, and regular dentist visits are what make a good oral hygiene.

[Factor 3] - Type of whitening method you choose

As mentioned above, in-clinic teeth whitening will last longer than over-the-counter teeth whitening products or treatments.

[Factor 4] - The original color of your teeth

Depending on the original color of your teeth, the shade of your teeth after whitening will vary. The yellower, grayer or browner your teeth, the less bleaching will last.

Can teeth be whitened permanently?

When “how long do teeth whitening last” is discussed, it is always good to know that teeth whitening is not permanent. Despite the fact that it can last a few months to a few years, it varies from patient to patient. The factors affecting how long teeth whitening lasts discussed above all contribute as well.

When is the best time to whiten your teeth?

You can start whitening your teeth at 15 years old. Teeth whitening can be done at any age as long as oral health is checked beforehand, x-rays have been done and a professional teeth cleaning given. As for over-the-counter methods and take-home trays, it is always recommended they are used at night before going to bed and after having cleaned your teeth properly.

Key takeaways

Teeth whitening needs consideration before you go through with the treatment. After discussing the cost (teeth whitening cost), the safety of the treatment (is whitening safe) and done some research to see what to expect (teeth whitening before and after) and how to maintain a lifestyle that will help teeth whitening last, you can go through with it and enjoy a healthy and shiny smile.

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