How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

There are a few ways to get whiter teeth. You can try keeping your teeth white at home simply by brushing and flossing as well as limiting your consumption of teeth-staining drinks, such as coffee, tea, and red wine.

You can also try over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products or a professional teeth whitening treatment at your dentist’s office. Professional teeth whitening is considered to be safe and effective, but how long does teeth whitening last?

Let’s find out how long teeth whitening can last, whether you try to get whiter teeth at home or have them professionally whitened with your dentist in Asheville.

The Answer Is: It Depends

How long teeth whitening lasts isn’t the same for every person. The answer really depends on whether you had your teeth professionally whitened, how white your teeth are, and how well you maintain them.

If You’re Using At-Home Products

If you have used OTC products to whiten your teeth at home, the effect will not last as long as a professional whitening because these products are not designed to make your teeth as white as a professional treatment will. The concentration of the ingredients is simply not as strong as professional teeth whitening products and therefore cannot provide the same effect.

Therefore, you can expect the effects of OTC teeth whitening products to last for a few months. The effect of these products will not only wear off after a relatively short period of time, but they also take longer to show results, anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or months.

If You’ve Gotten a Professional Whitening

A professional teeth whitening can last much longer than OTC products. If you’ve had your teeth whitened at your dentist’s office, you can expect the effects to last for up to a year and potentially for several years.

How long your teeth whitening lasts will depend on how well you maintain it. Getting regular cleanings with your dentist is essential, as is regular brushing and flossing at home.

In addition, a professional teeth whitening only takes about an hour to complete at your dentist’s office, which means you can get a bright white smile in just one day and start enjoying the effects immediately.

How to Keep Your Teeth White for Longer

There are a few things you can do to help keep your teeth white for longer, whether you’ve had them professionally whitened or not.

It’s essential not to smoke or chew tobacco—these products can quickly stain teeth, and the longer you use them, the worse the staining is and the harder it may be to correct.

You can also help protect your white smile and minimize staining by drinking water when consuming teeth-staining foods or drinks, such as coffee, blueberries, soy sauce, curries, red wine, tea, or juice. If you enjoy a particular beverage that’s known for staining teeth, using a straw can help the liquid bypass your teeth to reduce staining.

It’s essential to keep up with your oral hygiene both at home and with your dentist. Visiting your Asheville dentist every six months can help remove surface stains and keep your teeth as white as possible. Your dentist can also provide touch-up whitenings as necessary or even provide you with professional-grade touch-up cleaning products you can use at home.

Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal may also help prevent teeth staining and keep your teeth white. And if you choose a gum with xylitol, you may get extra cavity protection as well.

It’s important to remember that due to what you eat and drink, teeth will naturally discolor over time, which is why maintaining your white teeth is important. No teeth whitening will last forever.

When Is the Best Time to Get a Professional Whitening?

If you’re considering a professional teeth whitening, it’s a good idea to have your teeth whitened before any restorative treatments such as crowns and veneers, because only natural teeth can be whitened, not tooth restorations.

So once your natural teeth are white, your dentist can match your tooth restorations to the new shade of your teeth for a seamless and uniform smile.

Events where you will need to have photos taken are always an opportunity to get whiter teeth. Many people don’t realize how discolored their teeth are until they see themselves smiling in photographs, so considering a professional teeth whitening before a wedding, graduation, or another event is a good idea.

A smile makeover is also an opportunity to get whiter teeth. If you’ve recently quit smoking, are getting restorative work done, or simply want to be more confident in your smile, a professional teeth whitening can help.

When Teeth Whitening Does Not Help

Some people may not respond to a professional teeth whitening, or may not respond as well as others.

For example, those who have teeth staining from the antibiotic tetracycline may need a few whitenings or a combination of whitening and veneers or other treatments to help improve their smile.

If you have a tooth that needs a root canal, which may appear as a single discolored tooth, teeth whitening will not help, as this is a type of intrinsic staining, meaning the problem is coming from inside the tooth. The problem will need to be resolved before teeth whitening is considered.

Teeth whitening may also not completely resolve aesthetic issues such as dental fluorosis or other deep, set-in stains. Even if you’ve tried at-home treatments and haven’t gotten results, don’t discount a professional teeth whitening. Your dentist in Asheville will discuss all the cosmetic dentistry options available to you for your unique smile when you want whiter teeth.

Find Out More About Teeth Whitening

So there you have it: teeth whitening can last anywhere from a few months to a few years depending on your unique smile and how well you care for your newly whitened teeth. Do you have questions about professional teeth whitening or how you can keep your teeth whiter naturally or with in-office treatments? Find out by booking a consultation with Saunders DDS today—call us at (828) 277-6060 or reach us online. We look forward to helping you design your dream smile!

To find out more about teeth whitening and whether it is right for you, call Saunders DDS at (828) 277-6060