How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?: Big Guide For 2023

Don't let that white smile fade! Our all-in-one guide to teeth whitening covers everything you need to know, from its types to how long each effect lasts, to make the right choice.

12 min readHow Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

First impressions matter, and a bright, confident smile can make all the difference. That's where teeth whitening comes in - a cosmetic dental treatment designed to remove teeth stains and discoloration to improve your smile.

Did you know that the global teeth whitening industry is projected to reach a whopping $11.66 billion by 2030? There is no doubt that cosmetic dentistry is becoming increasingly important to people, but how long does teeth whitening last?

In this guide, we'll dive into the science behind the treatments, explore the different options available, and provide tips on how to extend the life of your newly-whitened smile.

Read on to keep your pearly whites looking their best for many years to come!

How Long Does At-Home Teeth Whitening Last?

No matter which tooth whitening technique you use, it won't be permanent.

While at-home teeth whitening provides the opportunity to conveniently whiten your teeth at home without the need for expensive professional treatments, this will still only usually last a few months to a year. Touch-up treatments every few months can prolong your results.

The duration of results depends on the type of product you use and your daily habits. Whitening is designed to reduce discoloration rather than prevent it from coming back.

Most teeth whitening kits contain a bleaching agent which penetrates the tooth enamel to remove stains and discoloration. The length of time the bleach is applied, as well as the concentration of the bleach, can vary depending on the product.

Check out these at-home teeth whitening products and see how they work.

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are a common way to whiten teeth at home. These thin plastic stripes have a whitening gel on them that is meant to make your teeth brighter.

The strips are applied directly to the teeth and left on for a certain amount of time, typically 30 minutes to an hour. The bleaching agent in the gel penetrates the tooth enamel to remove stains and discoloration.

Whitening Gels

Similar to whitening strips, whitening gels also contain a bleaching agent that is applied directly to the teeth. The gel can be applied with a brush or tray and left on for a certain amount of time, usually 10 to 30 minutes. Some whitening gels require an LED light to enhance the effectiveness of the bleach.

Whitening Pens

Whitening pens are a convenient and portable way to brighten your smile on the go. With their compact size and easy-to-use design, whitening pens are popular for those looking for a quick and effective teeth-whitening solution.

These pens are designed to be used directly on the teeth, with a small brush or sponge applicator that allows precise application. The bleaching agent in the pen's formula penetrates the tooth enamel to remove stains and discoloration, resulting in a brighter, more radiant smile.

Whitening Mouthwash

Whitening mouthwash is a popular and easy-to-use option for those looking to brighten their smile and freshen their breath. This powerful mouthwash contains a special formula, usually with hydrogen peroxide, that targets and removes surface stains on teeth, leaving them looking whiter and brighter.

Unlike traditional mouthwash, whitening mouthwash goes one step further by incorporating a bleaching agent that can help to remove stubborn stains and discoloration. Some whitening mouthwashes also contain fluoride, which can help to strengthen tooth enamel and protect against cavities.

Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal toothpaste has become a popular trend in recent years, with many people claiming it can whiten teeth naturally. As an effective method of absorbing toxins and chemicals from the body, activated charcoal is also commonly used in toothpaste to remove impurities and stains from teeth.

To maintain your at-home teeth whitening results, practicing good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding foods and beverages that stain teeth is important.

While at-home treatments may not deliver long-lasting teeth whitening as professional treatments would, they can be convenient and affordable for those looking to brighten their smile in the comfort of their own homes.

With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a confident, radiant smile for many months to come.

How Long Does Professional Teeth Whitening Last?

In-office teeth whitening is performed by a dentist or dental hygienist, using powerful bleaching agents and specialized equipment to achieve impressive results. In most cases, the results of this treatment can last a few years with proper maintenance.

During a professional teeth whitening session, a strong bleaching paste is applied to the teeth. This paste is put into trays that can be placed directly onto your teeth's enamel. It releases oxygen molecules which chemically break down the discoloration and stains in the enamel.

This powerful material can remove even the toughest stains, immediately leaving you with a noticeably brighter smile. However, this whitening method does not work on dental restorations like dentures, crowns, or dental veneers.

The at-home vs in-office teeth whitening debacle ultimately comes down to how well you maintain your teeth and how often you expose them to staining agents.

While in-office teeth whitening ultimately lasts longer than at-home whitening treatments, both can be prolonged by maintaining proper oral hygiene.

If you notice that your teeth are losing brightness over time, touch-up treatments or at-home kits may help keep them looking their best.

How Long Does Laser Teeth Whitening Last?

Laser teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that uses a powerful laser to enhance your teeth's brightness. It is possible for the results of laser whitening to last between six months and two years, depending on many factors, such as lifestyle habits and the teeth themselves.

Although, despite the fact that laser whitening has been widely available, the results are still only comparable to those of professional bleaching, and research indicates that there is still uncertainty about whether the laser itself can provide longer and better results. That being said, laser teeth whitening is still proven effective.

During a laser teeth whitening session, a strong bleaching gel is applied to the teeth, and a laser is used to activate the gel and accelerate the whitening process. The laser assists in activating the formula of the bleaching agent, which allows it to penetrate your teeth more deeply and produce better results.

The laser does not actually bleach your teeth. Rather, it amplifies the whitening solution's strength. So, how long does teeth whitening take? After setup and cleaning of the teeth, the actual whitening should only take about 20 minutes.

As with other teeth whitening procedures, you can prolong the effects of your laser teeth whitening by maintaining proper oral hygiene habits and avoiding consuming staining agents as much as possible. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, using a whitening toothpaste, and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

It's worth noting that laser teeth whitening is a safe and effective procedure when performed by a trained dental professional. However, it may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with sensitive teeth or certain dental conditions. Before undergoing any teeth whitening procedure, talk to your dentist.

How Long Does LED Teeth Whitening Last?

At-home LED teeth whitening kits have gained popularity as more and more people seek a convenient and affordable way to enhance the brightness of their teeth in the comfort of their homes.

LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode, and it is used to activate teeth-whitening ingredients. This solution is applied with a tray that fits over your front teeth, and then the LED light brings out its effects. A session usually lasts around 10-20 minutes.

So, how long does teeth whitening last with LED treatment? Depending on your natural shade of teeth, how much whitening gel you use, and how long you receive treatment, your results will vary. Results can last up to a year but may only last a few months without proper care.

Different solutions have different strengths and ingredients in them, so it's necessary to know this difference when choosing one.

These systems can be purchased from stores or dentist's offices for home use, or you can choose a stronger professional version your dentist would use. A whitening system usually consists of multiple tubes of whitening agent, applicators, trays, and a LED light.

Keep in mind that LED whitening treatments are not substitutes for teeth cleaning. Make sure you continue with your regular dental hygiene habits of brushing and flossing, as well as scheduling appointments with your dentist.

How Long Does Zoom Teeth Whitening Last?

Zoom whitening is a trendy dental cosmetic procedure that uses specialized light to enhance the effectiveness of a high-concentration bleaching gel, resulting in a brighter, more striking smile in just one visit to the dentist.

Laser and Zoom teeth whitening are both popular methods used to whiten teeth, but they differ in the way they work and the equipment used.

Laser teeth whitening uses a laser to activate a bleaching solution applied to the teeth. The heat from the laser helps to accelerate the whitening process, and the treatment can typically be completed in one visit.

Zoom teeth whitening, on the other hand, uses a special lamp to activate a hydrogen peroxide gel applied to the teeth. The Zoom light helps to break up stains and discoloration on the teeth, and the treatment can usually be completed in about an hour. This method is often less expensive than laser teeth whitening and may be a better option for those with sensitive teeth.

On average, the effects of Zoom teeth whitening can last anywhere from six months to two years. However, with proper care and maintenance, the results can last even longer.

It is advised that you only perform Zoom whitening treatments once a year. Depending on your dental health and the condition of your teeth, you might be able to get a touch-up every six months.

How To Make Teeth Whitening Last Longer

Nobody wants to see their dazzling new smile start to fade after just a few weeks! Here are some tips for making your teeth whitening results last longer:

Reduce Coffee And Tea

Coffee and tea are well-known culprits when it comes to staining teeth, as they contain tannins that can darken your pearly whites over time.

By not drinking caffeine or swapping them for coffee alternatives, you can help to minimize the amount of staining on your teeth, which in turn will help your whitening results last longer.

Limit Stain-Causing Foods Or Liquids

Chromogens are compounds found in certain foods and beverages that can cause tooth discoloration. These are highly pigmented and easily adhere to the surface of teeth, making them appear discolored or stained.

Some common examples of chromogens include the pigments found in red wine, berries, tomato sauce, and soy sauce, among others. These compounds are not harmful to teeth, but they can cause aesthetic concerns for individuals who are looking to maintain a bright, white smile.

Factors like frequency of consumption, duration of exposure, and oral hygiene practices can all play a role in determining whether a particular food or beverage will cause staining.

Stop Using Tobacco Products

Smoking and dental health are strongly linked, with tobacco being notorious for causing yellowing and staining of teeth, which ultimately leads to gum disease.

Firstly, tobacco products contain tar, which is a dark, sticky substance that can adhere to the enamel of teeth and cause discoloration over time.

Secondly, tobacco products contain nicotine, which is a colorless substance that turns yellow when it comes into contact with oxygen. This yellowing effect can cause teeth to take on a yellow or brownish hue over time.

Finally, tobacco use can cause a decrease in saliva production, which can lead to dry mouth. When the mouth is dry, there is less natural lubrication to wash away food particles and other substances that can contribute to staining.

If you quit smoking or vaping after teeth whitening, you can keep your newly whitened smile for longer, as well as improve your overall health in the process.

Go For Professional Dental Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings are an important part of maintaining good oral health and can also help to remove surface stains on your teeth. By scheduling regular cleanings with your dentist, you can help to prevent new stains from forming and keep your teeth looking their best.

Maintain Oral Health

Good oral hygiene is one of the most effective ways to maintain the results of your teeth whitening treatment. This means brushing and flossing regularly, using mouthwash, and keeping up with regular dental checkups. In order to keep your newly whitened smile looking its best, your teeth must be kept clean and healthy.

Here are some frequently asked questions about teeth whitening to help you make an informed decision before selecting this treatment.

Is Teeth Whitening Permanent?

Teeth whitening is not a permanent procedure, as the results can fade over time due to various factors such as diet, age, and lifestyle habits. Depending on the type of teeth whitening treatment, the results can last anywhere from a few months to a few years.

Even though permanent whitening is not available, you can still get long-lasting teeth whitening by properly maintaining it by practicing good oral hygiene, limiting or avoiding staining foods and beverages, and retouching it periodically.

Additionally, you should consult your dentist before undergoing teeth whitening treatment to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your needs.

Do Your Teeth Continue To Whiten After Treatment?

Your teeth do not "continue to whiten" after treatment. Teeth whitening treatments are designed to remove stains and discoloration from your teeth, but the whitening process stops once the treatment is complete.

Fortunately, the results of teeth whitening can continue to improve after treatment by properly maintaining it and performing periodic touch-ups. It is also worth noting that the effectiveness of teeth whitening treatments can vary depending on the type of treatment used and the severity of the staining.

Which Teeth Whitening Option Lasts The Most?

Generally speaking, in-office teeth whitening treatments tend to produce longer-lasting results than at-home treatments.

In-office teeth whitening treatments use a high-concentration bleaching agent and are typically more powerful and effective than at-home treatments.

Professional treatments can produce immediate and dramatic results, with the whitening effects lasting anywhere from six months to two years.

In comparison, at-home teeth whitening treatments typically need to be used consistently over a longer period of time to achieve significant whitening. These treatments usually contain a lower concentration of bleaching agent, and the whitening effects tend to last for a shorter period of time, ranging from a few weeks to several months.

How Long Do Teeth Whitening Gel And Trays Last?

The lifespan of teeth whitening gel and trays can vary depending on the brand, type, and frequency of use. In most cases, take-home whitening trays are used for several weeks. It also varies from person to person how long the effects will last. With proper use and maintenance, the effects can last from six to twelve months.

How Long Do Whitening Pens Last?

Teeth whitening pens can last for several weeks to a few months, depending on the frequency and duration of use. The results are usually minimal and do not last long.

The amount of gel in the pen can also vary depending on the brand and size of the pen, with some pens containing enough gel for several applications and others containing a single-use amount. Use only the recommended amount of gel for each application according to the pen's instructions.

How Long Do Whitening Strips Last?

A box of whitening strips contains several treatments and can last for several weeks to a few months. This depends on the frequency of use and the number of strips in the box.

The strips should be used each day for a span of two to three weeks to achieve the desired result, lasting several months if properly applied. Following the instructions on the package, whitening strips can work similarly to bleach.

Do Teeth Whiteners Expire?

Teeth whitening products such as gels, strips, and pens do have an expiration date. The active ingredients in these products, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, can break down over time and lose their effectiveness.

These should not be used after their expiration date. No health risks are involved, but the chemicals will no longer be active, so they won't work as intended. If you use an expired whitening kit, you will most likely only get gel and water with very few traces of oxygen present. This means that it won't have any effect on whitening your teeth.

Final Thoughts

Teeth whitening can improve your smile's appearance and boost your confidence. While the duration of teeth whitening varies depending on the type of treatment, maintenance routine, and individual lifestyle habits, the effects can last anywhere from several months to a few years.

Make sure you choose a safe and effective whitening option, follow the instructions carefully, and maintain proper oral hygiene habits to maximize the longevity of the results. With proper care, you can enjoy a bright, white smile for a long time!