How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

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How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

When your teeth come in as a child, they’re typically quite white. Everyone has a natural brightness to their teeth. This brightness, however, can dull over time.

The foods and liquids you consume (e.g., coffee, tea, and red wine) can stain your teeth, as can tobacco products, certain medications, and even some mouth rinses.

Plaque and tartar, which build up without regular dental cleanings, can also cause discoloration on your teeth. Age, trauma, various medical conditions, and genetics may affect the color of your teeth.

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Fortunately, there are ways to whiten your teeth, brighten your smile, and improve your confidence. Teeth whitening can last years depending on the type of whitening treatment you choose. There are several methods of whitening your teeth both at the dentist’s office and at home.

Professional Teeth Whitening (In-Office Treatment)

Here are three professional teeth whitening options to brighten your smile that a dental professional can do for you in a dental office:

  • KöR — The KöR Dual-Activated, Tri-Barrel™ Hydremide® Peroxide formulation and delivery system seals saliva and sulcular fluid out of whitening trays to make the bleaching agents in the gel more potent for much longer.  
  • 1-Hour Zoom! — The Zoom! in-office whitening system uses proprietary technology to brighten teeth by an average of eight shades. It takes just about an hour. The active light-activated ingredient is hydrogen peroxide. As it breaks down, the oxygen enters the enamel and dentin of the teeth, bleaching away discoloration.
  • BOOST — Opalescence™ Boost™ professional teeth whitening is chemically activated. The gel contains potassium nitrate and fluoride to prevent sensitivity and protect your enamel.

LED Teeth Whitening Kits (At-Home)

There are also tons of home whitening kits available to whiten your teeth on your own or provide a touch-up to prolong a professional whitening job. 

  • AuraGlow — AuraGlow combines professional whitening gel with LED light technology. It costs $60, is safe for enamel, and claims that users will have whitening results in as little as one treatment.
  • GLO — Glo uses an accelerating-warming heat and LED light technology to whiten your teeth. It costs $149 and promises whiter results in just days.
  • Snow — Snow claims that users will have whiter teeth in as little as nine minutes per day with its light-activated whitening gel. You can whiten for as long as 30 minutes per session, two times per day for faster results. The kit costs $149.
  • iSmile — iSmile is intended for daily use, 10 minutes at a time. The teeth whitening light tray promotes a whiter smile by up to eight shades in just seven days. The gel is made up of a 35 percent carbamide peroxide formula. It sells for about $50.

Laser Teeth Whitening 

Laser teeth whitening uses professional equipment to give you those pearly whites. The dentist will cover your gums and lips, and they’ll coat your teeth with a peroxide gel. From there, the dentist will use a laser to activate the gel’s bleaching agent, which will whiten your teeth. It can lighten your teeth up to several shades.

The laser teeth whitening process isn’t cheap. It can cost about $500 and up for one treatment. However, the results will last for several months.

Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening

These are the most common over-the-counter teeth whitening options available. These are much cheaper than professional whitening treatments. Most over-the-counter teeth whitening products cost well under $50.

  • Whitening Strips & Gels — Gels and strips typically use peroxide to whiten teeth. You should use these products regularly for at least two weeks, and the results will last for about four months after the course of your treatment.
  • Whitening Toothpaste — Whitening toothpastes usually use chemicals or polishing agents to remove most surface stains, though it may take several weeks before you actually see the results.
  • Charcoal Teeth Whitening — Because charcoal is an incredibly absorbent substance, it can absorb bacteria and stains on your teeth, giving them a whiter appearance. Charcoal is also abrasive and can break down the enamel on your teeth. So while charcoal can certainly scrub off stains, it may also scrub off the top layer of your teeth, leaving them thinner, weaker, and more susceptible to cavities and cracks.

How Often Should You Whiten Your Teeth?

How often you should whiten your teeth depends on if you choose a professional teeth whitening solution or over-the-counter products to whiten your teeth. While a professional procedure may only require one visit, toothpastes are to be used daily, and strips and gels are to be used daily for a designated period of time.

How Long Does It Take to Whiten Teeth?

How long it takes to whiten your teeth also depends entirely on the type of teeth whitening solution you choose.

While professional teeth whitening procedures generally take about an hour and may show immediate results, over-the-counter products may take just minutes to use but up to weeks to see results.

Is it bad to whiten your teeth?

It’s not bad to whiten your teeth so long as you choose a safe method and practice regular dental care. Whitening strips, gels, toothpastes, and other remedies are dentist-approved methods of whitening your teeth.

How long does teeth sensitivity last after whitening?

Teeth sensitivity varies for everyone. It may last longer or feel more intense, depending on the teeth whitening solution you’ve chosen, as well. Typically, however, you should feel better within a few hours or up to about 48 hours at most.

Can teeth whitening last forever?

Teeth whitening won’t last forever. However, there are ways that you can prolong the brightened appearance of your teeth. Practice proper oral hygiene and stay away from foods, liquids, and products that can stain your teeth.

What is the longest lasting teeth whitening treatment?

Getting your teeth professionally whitened will likely last longer than using over-the-counter products to whiten your teeth. If you use whitening products like toothpaste daily, you can prolong the brightened appearance of your teeth at home.

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Resources

Barry, Gregg. “Tips for Dealing with Sensitivity after Teeth Whitening Treatments.” Docklands Dental, 25 Sept. 2019, www.docklandsdental.ie/tips-dealing-with-sensitivity-after-teeth-whitening/

“Does Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Work?: Delta Dental Of Washington.” Tenant 0, www.deltadentalwa.com/blog/entry/2018/07/activated-charcoal-teeth-whitening

“How Does KöR Whitening Work?” KöR Whitening, 15 Jan. 2019, www.korwhitening.com/how-does-kor-work/

“How Long Does Professional Teeth Whitening Last? - Blog.” My Family Dental, www.myfamilydental.com/about-us/blog/How-Long-Does-Professional-Teeth-Whitening-Last_AE14.html

“How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?” Family Dentist, www.drsilmansmilespa.com/how-long-does-teeth-whitening-last

“Is Charcoal Teeth Whitening Safe? A Dentist Chimes In.” Nelson Dentistry, 25 Oct. 2017, www.drjaynelson.com/blog/charcoal-teeth-whitening-safe-dentist-chimes/

“Opalescence Teeth Whitening.” Opalescence, www.opalescence.com/products/opalescence-boost

“Products.” AuraGlow, auraglow.com/

“Snow® At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit: Results Guaranteed Celebrity Owned.” Snow Oral Care, www.trysnow.com/

“Teeth Whitening - How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?” Cosmetic Dentist Southern California, 30 June 2017, artofdentistryinstitute.com/blog/how-long-does-teeth-whitening-last/.

“Welcome to GLO™ Science: Professional Teeth Whitening At-Home.” GLO Science, gloscience.com/.

“Zoom Whitening Half Moon Bay California, Teeth Whitening.” Half Moon Bay California, Teeth Whitening, www.halfmoonbaydentist.net/cosmetic-treatments/teeth-whitening/zoom-whitening/.

Updated on: October 20, 2020
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AnnaMarie Houlis
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