How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last? Depends on the Method

Written by Dr. Reuben Sim
Published: 11-08-2022

Who doesn’t love a beautiful set of pearly whites? Your teeth are one of the first things people notice about you. Bright, white teeth can help to make you feel confident about your smile.

Over time, teeth can become stained and yellowed. Life happens; we drink red wine and coffee, and our teeth begin to dull. But it is possible to get your bright and white smile back again by having your teeth whitened.

You can give this a go from the comfort of your own home, or pop into the dentist for a professional treatment (and the most effective results). You might be wondering, how long does teeth whitening last? We break down everything you need to know about teeth whitening here.

Why Do You Need Teeth Whitening?

According to a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 48% of adults say a smile is the most memorable first impression. It’s a significant factor in social and professional interactions.

A beautiful smile can help to improve your self-esteem and make you feel more confident. It can also make you look younger and, according to some studies, more attractive.

On the other hand, stained or yellow teeth have been proven to cause self-consciousness and psychological distress. They can add years to your appearance as well.

What Causes Teeth Stains?

Teeth discolouration can occur for several reasons. These factors may determine what whitening method is best for you and how long your teeth whitening lasts.

Firstly, certain foods and drinks can cause staining. The most common culprits are coffee, tea, alcohol (especially wine), sodas, and berries.

Smoking is also a leading cause of tooth staining. The nicotine and tar in cigarettes can stick to your teeth and leave them yellowed and stained.

Age may play a part in the discolouration of your teeth. As you get older, your enamel (the hard, outer layer of your teeth) gets thinner. This makes your teeth more likely to yellow or stain.

Other factors that can cause staining include medications, trauma to the teeth, and dental diseases.

In addition, poor dental hygiene will exacerbate any existing staining. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, the plaque that builds up from the food and drink you consume tends to sit on your teeth and cause discolouration.

How Teeth Become Stained

There are two kinds of tooth stains:

Extrinsic Stains

These stains are only on the surface of your teeth. Causes include the foods and drinks you consume, as well as smoking.

You can remove extrinsic stains with a professional cleaning or at-home teeth whitening kit.

Intrinsic stains

These occur much deeper below the surface. Medications, trauma, or dental diseases can all cause intrinsic stains. These often require more aggressive treatment.

How long your teeth whitening lasts will vary depending on the severity of the stain.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Now that you know what causes teeth staining, you’re probably wondering how teeth whitening works.

Teeth whitening is a simple process. Essentially, it refers to the use of bleaching agents to remove the stains and discolouration from your teeth.

There are two main options for teeth whitening: in-chair teeth whitening and at-home teeth whitening kits.

In-Chair Teeth Whitening

A dentist or cosmetic teeth whitening specialist can perform in-chair teeth whitening.

They will use a high-powered UV light and bleaching gel to whiten your teeth in one visit. It is faster and more effective than at-home teeth whitening kits.

Teeth Whitening At Home Kits

At-home kits are much less potent and usually take longer to work.

These kits usually contain a bleaching solution and a mouth tray. Depending on the product’s strength, you may need to wear the tray for a few hours or even overnight.

For How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

This depends on how you whiten your teeth.

Professional teeth whitening is more powerful and the results typically lasts longer. A single treatment can last anywhere from one to two years.

The results from at-home whitening kits usually only last for a few months. With touch-ups and good dental hygiene, you may be able to extend the results for a longer period.

Teeth Whitening: Before and After

Below are some images that demonstrate just how effective whitening can be. As you can see, teeth whitening can dramatically affect the appearance of your teeth.

Daniel Before and After

before and after

After Teeth-Whitening Care

It’s important to follow a stringent after-care routine to ensure the results of your teeth whitening last as long as possible.

To keep your pearly whites white, we recommend:

Using a Whitening Toothpaste

Look for toothpaste with the Australian Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval. These toothpaste have gone through rigorous testing by the ADA to ensure they are effective and safe.

Avoiding Staining Foods and Drinks

As much as possible, avoid foods and drinks that cause staining. If you do consume them, rinse your mouth afterwards and brush your teeth at least half an hour after eating. Be sure to floss to remove any food particles stuck in your teeth.

Quitting Smoking

We know smoking isn’t just bad for your teeth – it’s very harmful to your overall health. To keep your teeth white (and intact), it’s best to quit smoking altogether.

Seeing Your Dentist Regularly

It is essential to see your dentist for biannual cleanings and checkups. They can help remove any build-up on your teeth and help prevent stains.

Using a Mouthguard

If you play sports, it is vital to wear a mouthguard. A mouthguard will protect your teeth from trauma and staining.

Supplementary Whitening Products

Not keen on a full-blown tooth whitening procedure? There are many supplementary dental whitening products on the market you can use instead.

You can also use these after a professional or at-home whitening treatment to extend how long your tooth whitening lasts.

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste work by gently polishing your teeth and removing surface stains. They usually contain chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide or baking soda.

Whitening Rinses

These are similar to whitening toothpaste but appear in liquid form. Swish the rinse around your mouth for 60 seconds before spitting it out.

Whitening Pens

These are small, handheld devices that you can use to target specific areas. The whitening gel is applied directly to your teeth with the pen.

Whitening Strips

These are thin, clear strips you apply to your teeth. The strips have a coat of whitening gel that helps remove stains.

Using these products come with a caveat, however. You must be careful not to overuse them as they can damage your teeth. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product labels and talk to your dentist if you have any questions.

Is Teeth Whitening Right for You?

Having your teeth whitened could be the key to achieving the smile you’ve always wanted. But before deciding to whiten your teeth, it is best to consult with your dentist. We suggest that you:

  1. Schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss your concerns.
  2. Inquire about the various teeth whitening options available.
  3. Get an estimate of the cost of treatment.
  4. Find out about the risks and side effects of teeth whitening.

Once you have all the information, you can make an informed decision about whether or not teeth whitening is right for you.

DIY Whitening and Home Remedies

Teeth whitening is best if done by professionals. However, we understand that some people may want to try over-the-counter (OTC) or DIY products.

If you decide to go down this path, be aware that these products are not as potent as the whitening service you would receive at your dentist.

They also have a greater risk of side effects, such as tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.

To reduce the risk of these side effects, follow the instructions carefully and immediately stop using the product if you experience any pain or discomfort.

This is especially crucial if you have crowns, veneers, or other dental work.

Get the Teeth Whitening You Need With a Trusted Dentistry Provider

How long your teeth whitening lasts will depend on your chosen method and how well you take care of your teeth afterwards. Professional teeth whitening can last for several years with proper care.

If you are considering teeth whitening, we recommend you book a consultation with a trusted dental service.

With over 30,000 smiles created and completed, Dental Boutique is a leading name in cosmetic dentistry worldwide. Our skilled dentists have helped patients achieve the smiles of their dreams with our wide range of services, including teeth whitening.

Contact Dental Boutique today to learn more about our teeth whitening service or book a consultation