Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures. Wondering why that is? It's simple: most people have stained teeth at some point in their lives, whether as a result of coffee, smoking, aging, or certain medications. Before deciding to get teeth whitening, many patients want to know how long they can expect their results to last. To answer this question, there are a few things to consider.
Types of Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments
When it comes to teeth whitening treatments, there are a variety of solutions available over-the-counter these days, but professional teeth whitening is still your best bet. Because these treatments are either overseen or administered by your dentist, they are more effective and less likely to cause painful sensitivity, enamel wear, or soft tissue irritation.
To whiten your teeth in our office, we offer Zoom! whitening, which uses a professional-grade bleaching gel to whiten your teeth in just under an hour. A specialized light activates this gel, amplifying its effects for even more whitening power. With our in-office bleaching treatment, you can leave our office with teeth up to 8 shades whiter than when you walked in!
If you prefer to whiten your teeth at home on your own time, or if you only have minor discoloration or stains, take-home teeth whitening may be the best option for you. Our teeth whitening kits include custom-fitted whitening trays and professional-strength whitening gel. We will instruct you on how long to wear the whitening trays and how to fill them with the whitening agent.
How Long Teeth Whitening Lasts
The most accurate response to "How long does teeth whitening last?" is: until your teeth become stained again! In other words, if your teeth were stained by smoking or coffee and you don’t give up or cut back on these habits, your stains will likely return after a few months have passed.
Your teeth whitening results can last up to 3 years if you brush and floss for two minutes twice a day, get your teeth cleaned every six months, and stop (or cut back on) any bad habits that caused your stains in the first place.
How to Make Teeth Whitening Last Longer
Following your teeth whitening treatment, we'll provide you with detailed aftercare instructions to help you maintain your results. These include:
- Coffee, tea, red wine, and other staining foods and drinks should be avoided or limited.
- When you consume a food or beverage that has the potential to stain, brush your teeth afterwards. If you’re not at home and don't have access to a toothbrush and toothpaste, rinse your mouth with water.
- Every few months, or whenever you notice new stains forming, use an at-home touch-up kit to whiten your teeth.
- Every six months, visit your dentist for a comprehensive oral evaluation and dental cleaning to remove surface stains from the teeth.
- Stop smoking.