Cosmetic Dentistry |4 min read

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

close up to show the before and after the teeth whitening process

Have you considered improving the color of your teeth?

About 80% of Americans would prefer a whiter smile.

Teeth whitening can be a great way to lighten the natural shade of your teeth, restoring confidence and beauty.

However, this effect isn’t permanent, and eventually, your teeth will start to yellow again.

We’ll walk you through more details about teeth whitening and how long this treatment lasts.

Why would I need my teeth whitened?

Very few people have perfect-white teeth, and our teeth usually become more discolored as we age.

Your teeth can also be stained on the surface by food and drinks such as:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Blackcurrant

Yellow teeth often indicate tooth decay and plaque buildup, but teeth can discolor even while in good dental health.

Regardless of the cause, a discolored smile can often tangibly harm one’s self-esteem and confidence.

Teeth whitening offers a fast, affordable way to improve the appearance of your smile – it’s as simple as that.

Different types of teeth whitening

There are five main types of teeth whitening.

Different methods exist for different budgets and, of course, produce differing results. In order of least to most effective, whitening methods include:

  • Toothpaste
  • Whitening Strips
  • Pre-Made Whitening Trays
  • Custom-Made Whitening Trays
  • In-Office Whitening

How long does teeth whitening last?

We know this will sound frustrating, but the answer is “it depends.”

The effects of teeth whitening can last for up to 2-3 years or as little as six months, depending on your oral hygiene.

Things that will stain your teeth and make your whitening shorter-lived include:

  • Smoking
  • Dark liquids like red wine, coffee, and tea
  • Staining foods like beetroot and berries

Brushing your teeth twice a day and avoiding stain-causing habits will help keep your teeth whiter for longer.

You don’t have to completely remove these things from your lifestyle, but try to cut back to preserve the brightness of your smile.

What to expect with professional teeth whitening

In-office teeth whitening is not a complicated procedure, but it requires skill to avoid injuring your gums.

There are several standard steps to performing an in-office whitening.

Before starting

Your dentist will record the current shade of your teeth.

We will then polish your teeth with pumice, a granular material used to remove any plaque on the surface.

Isolate the mouth

Retractors may be used to keep your cheeks, lips, and tongue away from the whitening solution.

A barrier is placed along the gumline to protect it from exposure, due to the strength of the compounds used.

Coating the teeth

Once applied, the solution will be left on your teeth for 30 to 60 minutes, at which point it may be reapplied, depending on your needs.

Once an optimum shade has been achieved, we’ll thoroughly rinse your teeth to remove any remaining solution.

Additional visits

Depending on how much whitening is needed, you may need to return for scheduled visits until the desired shade is reached. This will also allow us to monitor your symptoms.

Teeth whitening the Kidder Dental way

Here at Kidder Dental, we combine in-office teeth whitening with at-home methods to ensure an ideal result.

When you arrive for your appointment, we’ll take impressions of your teeth to help design custom whitening trays for you to take home.

Then, while these trays are being made, we’ll start the whitening process as described above. Typically, this requires two to three applications of whitening gel, to take full advantage of its active phases.

We’ll send you home with your custom-made whitening trays, and after two to three weeks, you’ll have a substantially brighter smile!

How to maintain your color between top-ups

  • Practice good oral hygiene (brush and floss regularly)
  • Use a whitening toothpaste
  • Visit your dental hygienist at least once every six months
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods
  • Avoid foods and drinks that easily stain

There is no better way to maintain your teeth than to practice good oral hygiene.

For more information, call us or schedule a visit today.


Our team at Kidder Dental is dedicated to providing professional dental care for the residents of Baton Rouge, LA, and communities throughout Louisiana.

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