How Long Does Professional Teeth Whitening Last?

Before and After closeup of professional teeth whitening

How long can professional teeth whitening by a dentist last? The short answer is anywhere from 6 months to 2-3 years but read on to learn why the timeframe can vary drastically from person to person.

In this blog, we’ll help you understand:

You may be surprised by how many factors affect your results and how easy it is to extend the lifespan of your whitening treatment.

So What’s the Most Effective Way to Whiten Teeth?

This depends on the cause of your staining. There are two main types of stains that cause yellow or discolored teeth: internal (intrinsic) or external (extrinsic).

If you’re unsure which type you have, speak to your dentist or keep reading as we explain each one. Understanding the types of stains you have can help you address the cause and find the best way to whiten your teeth.

Internal vs. external stains:

  • Internal stains may be due to aging, injury, trauma, medication, infection, or antibiotic and fluoride overexposure (tetracycline stains and fluorosis). Many of these are due to uncontrollable factors, and these deep stains are often difficult to remove with at-home whitening systems.
  • External stains, on the other hand, are on the surface of the tooth. They’re caused by certain foods, drinks, artificial food colorings, smoking cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. These are superficial, so they’re typically easier to remove.

While many at-home bleaching kits can slowly remove external stains, professional whitening at your dentist can quickly address all types of discoloration.

But the biggest reason why you should know your stain type… Whitening treatments reduce and remove stains but don’t repel new ones. So it’s a good idea to know what caused your staining in the first place! (Makes sense, right?)

Ok, so you decide to visit your cosmetic dentist to brighten your smile. You may be wondering…

How Long Does Professional Teeth Whitening Really Last?

Different whitening methods use different teeth bleaching strengths, depending on your needs. The results can last anywhere from six months to about two or three years, but most patients see the effects for about one year.

Believe it or not, bleaching concentration isn’t the only factor that affects how long teeth stay white. Hygiene and diet are huge factors as well!

Examples of this?

Smoking cigarettes, brushing poorly or missing regular dental cleanings, and even excess coffee and wine consumption can make teeth yellow much faster.

Now the good news and bad news…

While that celebrity-worthy, white smile you achieve at the dentist’s office looks amazing and can last for many months, it’s important to remember that no professional teeth whitening is permanent.

That’s because teeth are naturally porous and absorb stains. But don’t worry – there are super easy ways to extend the life of teeth bleaching.

Ways to Make Your Teeth Whitening Last Longer (A Quick List):

  • Brush at least twice per day and floss.
  • Incorporate a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash.
  • Visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
  • Stop using tobacco (this includes chewing or smoking).
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  • Watch what you eat and avoid foods/drinks that stain.
  • Use a straw for dark beverages like cola or grape juice.
  • Brush after meals or drinks that stain teeth.

Easy enough, right?

Also, if you can’t find the time or place to brush after eating, you can simply rinse your mouth with water or chew sugar-free gum.

Here’s a list of common foods and drinks to watch out for (AKA common stain-causing culprits):

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Grape juice
  • Red wine
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Beets
  • Pasta sauce

Teeth whitening results naturally fade in time, but with a few extra steps, you can keep your smile white for years. In addition, you can opt for touch-up whitening at home in-between visits (ask your dentist how).

Ready for a professional teeth whitening or touch-up? Contact our cosmetic dentist in White Plains, NY.

Our cosmetic dentist can whiten teeth by several shades in just one visit or create custom whitening trays to use at home.

Book your visit today.

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Dental Group of Westchester is conveniently located in White Plains, NY…Click to open directions on Google Maps in a new window…. We happily welcome new patients from neighboring communities, including Westchester County, New York City, Bronx, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

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