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How long does teeth whitening last?

One of the common questions we receive is “How long will the teeth whitening results last?”. It is difficult to precisely predict how long teeth whitening results will last since most people regularly expose their teeth to dark food or drinks, which are known to stain teeth. When that exposure happens you would experience re-staining within a month after the whitening treatment is concluded. However, if the teeth are not exposed to chromogens such as coffee, red wine, cigarette smoke, dark foods, etc. then it would be reasonable to assume that whitened teeth could persist up to a year after completed treatment. Depending on your lifestyle habits, there will be a few months between top-up treatments and teeth whitening kits can be used for those treatments to ensure your smile stays white.

In summary, our research suggests the following:  

  • How long teeth whitening results last depends on which method you use to whiten your teeth (in-office vs. at-home) and how you maintain them. The dentists will be able to advise you on the best treatment option for you, your lifestyle, and taking tooth sensitivity into account.
  • Ultimately, how long teeth whitening results last depends on how well you look after your teeth post-treatment. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and rinsing twice a day, and avoiding foods that are known to stain teeth, can help to prolong the whiteness of your teeth.
  • If you avoid consuming staining food, drinks, and tobacco as well as practicing good oral hygiene, then your bleaching treatment can last between 6-12 months.
  • The optimal method to maintain white teeth after in-office whitening treatment is to use monthly at-home teeth whitening kits as top-up treatments every 3 months.  

How teeth become stained

Teeth whitening results are not permanent and if you skip your treatments your teeth will lose some of the whitening effects over time. As long as you keep up with a whitening protocol and look after your oral care well, you should be able to maintain your results longer. 

During the period you are whitening your teeth, you may want to avoid the following group of drinks and food that are known to easily stain your teeth:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Soft drinks
  • Beer
  • Red wine
  • Strong spices
  • Tomato sauce and ketchup
  • Soy sauce

If you are consuming food and drinks that stain your teeth you will need to use top-up whitening treatments after 3 months. If you decide to minimise or completely avoid the food and drinks discussed here, your results can last longer and up to 6-12 months.

Spicy food can contribute to tooth stains

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