Cosmetic Dentistry |3 min read

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last, and What Are The Benefits?

Close-up of female smile with white teeth

If you are unhappy with the color of your teeth and would like them to be whiter, you are not alone.

In a recent survey by Statista, 80% of Americans agreed they would prefer a whiter smile.

Tooth whitening can be a great way to lighten the natural color of your teeth without causing any damage to your enamel.

With proper care, your teeth can retain their bright shade for quite a long time – but not forever.

This article will cover the following:

Why would I need my teeth whitened?

There are several reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. The most obvious, of course, is decay, which will yellow your teeth faster than anything else.

Very few people have perfect-white teeth, and our teeth usually become more discolored as we age (even with good dental care).

Certain foods and drinks can also stain your teeth, such as:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Blackcurrant
  • Smoking can also stain teeth

Regardless of the cause, yellowed/discolored teeth can be a serious detriment to your confidence and social comfort.

Many people value a healthy smile highly in social and professional contexts, which can cause anxiety if you aren’t comfortable showing your smile to others.

Teeth whitening offers a fast, affordable, and safe way to reclaim your oral beauty and be proud of your teeth.

Different types of teeth whitening

There are five main variations of teeth whitening.

Different methods exist for different budgets and, of course, differing results.

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

With the in-office method, there are two main techniques: LED and Laser.

Both methods involve little to no pain, although patients may experience sensitivity and mild discomfort for a few days following treatment.

Either way, teeth whitening is a relatively fast procedure, showing results in as little as one appointment (although 3-4 appointments are usually necessary for full effect).

LED teeth whitening

After whitening gel is applied to your teeth, a blue LED light is used to activate the materials within, lightening your teeth over the course of 20-60 minutes.

Laser teeth whitening

Much like the LED route, an identical whitening gel is applied to your teeth to begin.

However, this method uses a pinpoint laser light to activate the gel instead of LED, which can make it faster if you only need to whiten a few teeth.

How long does teeth whitening last?

The short answer is, “it depends.”

The effects of teeth whitening can last up to 2-3 years or as little as six months, and it varies from person to person.

It won’t last as long if you indulge in things that stain your teeth, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Dark liquids like red wine, coffee, and tea
  • Stain-causing foods like beetroot and berries

Brushing your teeth twice a day and practicing good oral hygiene will help keep your teeth whiter for longer.

You don’t have to cut these things out of your life entirely, but it’s best to cut back if you want to preserve the shade of your teeth.

How to keep your teeth white between top-ups

  • Good oral hygiene
  • Brushing and flossing
  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Regular dental hygienist visits
  • Avoiding sticky, stain-causing, and chewy foods
  • Using a straw for liquids that may stain

There is no better way to maintain your teeth than to practice good oral hygiene. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today!

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Dental Health Care of Woburn is located in Woburn, MA, and is proud to help patients from Woburn, Winchester, Burlington, Stoneham, Reading, Tewksbury, Wilmington, Lexington, Wakefield, and surrounding communities.

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