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How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

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How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Everyone wants to show their best bright smile. Your teeth are precious, and maintenance with dental hygiene is essential. 

Because of the natural aging process and certain foods and drinks, maintaining a perfect white smile is sometimes tricky—and that’s where teeth whitening comes in.

Over time, your teeth will gradually appear duller and yellower. This process is completely natural, and your dental professional will have the solutions for you.

But what is teeth whitening? And how long does it last? Let’s explore the whole process.

What Is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is the process of using bleaching agents or surface whiteners to change the colour appearance of your teeth. When teeth naturally darken with age or stains, teeth whitening is a great option to tackle the accumulation of surface stains.

There are 2 types of tooth stains:

  • Intrinsic—these internal stains come from aging, trauma, infection, and medication. Internal stains are difficult to eliminate, but you can combat them with the right treatment.
  • Extrinsic—these external stains come from food, smoking cigarettes or vaping, and drinking coffee and red wine. Most teeth whiteners only work on extrinsic stains. 

There are different types of teeth whiteners, both at-home and professional. 

A man smiling with his teeth

Surface Whiteners

Surface whiteners use special abrasives that are finer than their standard counterparts to improve the product’s removal of surface stains. The products in this category are usually teeth whitening toothpaste or chewing gums. 

The effectiveness of these products is limited to surface stains without causing excessive wear on your teeth, and it’s important to remember that these are not a substitute for professional cleaning.

At-Home Whitening Trays

At-home whitening trays are a great option if you want to whiten your teeth with professional quality. At-home whitening works by using a mouth guard-like tray that is filled with a peroxide-based bleaching gel or paste. This gel or paste is then placed over your teeth for 30 minutes a day.

You can get custom-fitted at-home bleaching trays done by your dental professional.

Remember to brush and floss regularly along with any treatment methods!  


Peroxide-based bleaching products are capable of altering the colours of the tooth. However, it’s important to note that not all tooth discolouration responds to tooth bleaching. Consulting with your dental professional to determine the cause of the tooth discolouration will help you determine the best treatment for you.

So, now that you know some of the basics and what goes into the teeth whitening process—let’s explore how long teeth whitening lasts.

Teeth Whitening Lasting Power

The length of time you can expect teeth whitening to last depends on the type of whitener you’re using and your lifestyle habits.

Unfortunately, no matter what kind of teeth whitening process you use, it won’t last forever. Professional dental whitening can last from 6 months up to 3 years. Extending the effects of teeth whitening treatments is all about proper maintenance and good dental hygiene habits.

Some things you can do to prolong the effects include:

  • Using teeth whitening strips and gels
  • Using tooth whitening toothpaste
  • Tray-based tooth bleaching systems you can use at home

Your diet is also important—some foods and beverages you’ll want to avoid to prevent unwanted stains include:

  • Coffee
  • Red wine 
  • Tea
  • Vibrant fruits and fruit juices

It’s important to note that you should talk to your dental professional before using any over-the-counter teeth whitening kits. Your dental professional knows best and can guide you through the maintenance process.

Your Teeth Whitening Journey

Teeth whitening is a great way to achieve your ideal smile. Maintaining good dental hygiene should be something you employ in your everyday life, but even more so when you want to prolong the effects of teeth whitening.

Book an appointment with your dental professional today for more information and to learn what teeth whitening procedure is right for you.

Written by Dr. Matthew Rydant

Dr. Matthew Rydant graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 2006. That same year, he entered into private practice at Upper Gage Dental Centre.

Dr. Rydant is a general dentist who enjoys all aspects of dentistry, particularly cosmetic, family, and pediatric dentistry. If he had to choose a favourite treatment, he’d pick endodontics, more commonly known as root canals. He thrives on providing quality care in a trusting environment.

Dr. Rydant and Dr. Judith Kivinen are married with 3 children: Hazel, Noam, and Jemma. When he’s not working, you may find him on the local golf course or indulging in some delectable food.

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