How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

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How long does teeth whitening last?

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures. It is a quick and effective way to improve the appearance of your smile by removing stains and discoloration from your teeth. And who wouldn’t want a brighter, whiter smile?

But if you’re considering professional teeth whitening treatments, you may be wondering how long the results will last. In this article, we’ll explore the answer to that question and provide tips on how to maintain your bright white smile for as long as possible. Let’s get started!

Factors Affecting the Longevity of Teeth Whitening

The duration of teeth whitening results can vary depending on several factors, including:

Factors affecting teeth whitening longevity

The Original Shade of the Teeth and Degree of Staining

The starting shade of your teeth and the severity of discoloration can impact how long the results last. If you have heavily stained or yellowed teeth, they may require more frequent touch-ups to maintain the desired level of whiteness.

The Type of Staining (Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic)

Teeth can be stained in two ways – extrinsically and intrinsically. Extrinsic stains are surface-level and caused by external factors like food, drinks, or smoking. These stains are typically easier to remove, last longer, and can be maintained with at-home treatments – such as teeth-whitening toothpaste. Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, are located deep within the tooth and require a professional to whiten.

Individual Habits Such as Smoking and Oral Hygiene

Some habits can significantly impact the longevity of your teeth whitening results. For example, smoking and excessive consumption of foods and drinks that stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, or red wine, can cause staining to reappear quickly. Additionally, maintaining good oral hygiene practices like brushing twice a day and flossing can help prolong the effects of a teeth whitening treatment.

Average Duration of Teeth Whitening Results

Professional teeth whitening treatments can last anywhere between six months and two years, depending on the factors mentioned above. To prolong the results, it’s essential to follow post-treatment instructions provided by your dentist and avoid habits that can cause staining.

At-home whitening kits, on the other hand, may require more frequent touch-ups to maintain the desired level of whiteness. These touch-ups can range from every few weeks to several months, depending on the individual’s habits and the severity of discoloration.

It’s important to note that results will vary for each individual, and some may experience longer-lasting results than others. Factors like genetics and tooth enamel thickness can also affect the duration of whitening results.

Types of Teeth Whitening Treatments

Teeth whitening treatment

There are various methods of achieving a brighter and whiter smile. Some of the most commonly used treatments include:

Professional In-Office Teeth Whitening

This is the most highly effective teeth whitening treatment, providing immediate results in just one session. The dentist will directly apply a concentrated bleaching agent to the teeth and use special light or heat to activate the solution.

The professional whitening method can whiten teeth in several shades and is suitable for individuals with severe discoloration or those looking for quick results. However, it can be more expensive than other options and may cause temporary sensitivity.

At-Home Whitening Kits Prescribed by Dental Professionals

At home teeth whitening

These kits contain a lower concentration of bleaching agents compared to in-office treatments, allowing for safer and more gradual results. The dentist will provide custom-fit trays and specific instructions for use.

The at-home tooth whitening kits are convenient as they can be used in the comfort of one’s own home but may require longer treatment periods to achieve desired results. They are also more affordable than in-office treatments.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products

These products include whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, and strips that can be purchased without a prescription from a dentist. They are the most convenient and cost-effective option for teeth whitening but may take longer to show results.

Natural Remedies

Some individuals opt for natural remedies to whiten their teeth, such as pulling oil with coconut oil or using baking soda as toothpaste. However, these methods may not be as effective and can potentially damage the tooth enamel if used too frequently.

It is always best to consult with a dentist before trying any natural teeth whitening remedies.

Professional Teeth Whitening Versus At-Home Kits

While professional teeth whitening treatments are typically more expensive, they also tend to be more effective and provide faster results. This is because dentists use stronger bleaching agents and have the expertise to ensure proper application and protection of the gums. Additionally, in-office treatments can offer customizable options for individuals with specific needs or preferences.

Conversely, at-home kits prescribed by dentists can also provide effective results, although they may take longer compared to in-office treatments. This is because the bleaching agents used in at-home kits are not as strong as those used by dentists. However, these kits do offer convenience and affordability for individuals who prefer to whiten their teeth at home.

Maintenance Tips for Prolonged Teeth Whitening Effects

Practice good oral hygiene

Regardless of the method used, maintaining a bright and white smile requires proper care and maintenance. Here are some tips to prolong the effects of teeth whitening treatments:

  • Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly. This helps to prevent plaque build-up and maintain the whiteness of your teeth. 
  • Rinse your mouth with water after consuming staining foods or drinks to wash away any residue.
  • Use a straw when drinking beverages that can stain your teeth, as it reduces the exposure of your teeth to the liquid. 
  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products, as they can cause discoloration and counteract the effects of teeth whitening treatments. 
  • Limit consumption of staining foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored berries.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and touch-ups to keep your teeth looking bright and white. 

By following these maintenance tips, you can prolong the effects of teeth whitening treatments and maintain a beautiful smile.


In conclusion, teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your smile. Whether you choose in-office treatments or at-home kits, it is important to consult with a dentist before beginning any whitening regimen. Additionally, practicing good oral hygiene and following maintenance tips can help to prolong the effects of teeth whitening treatments.

If you are considering professional teeth whitening, the team at Jones & Copeland Smiles is here to help. We specialize in cosmetic dentistry and can provide you with personalized treatment options to achieve a brighter, more confident smile.

Schedule a consultation today to learn more!

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