How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Teeth whitening has become an industry all on its own, with DIY whitening solutions, at-home kits, and professional treatments giving clients a range of options, depending on their budget and ideal results and outcomes. 

If you ask any dental professional, they will agree almost instantly that a professional treatment is both the most effective and the safest form of whitening that you can get. Combining a whitening agent with a targeted burst of blue spectrum LED light from a dental laser, professional whitening treatment attacks and lifts the stains from the surface of the teeth and from inside the teeth, without causing any damage or sensitivity. 

And the results cannot be denied. Laser teeth whitening in particular provides tangible results that are clear to see immediately after treatment – sending clients away from the practice with a brighter and more confident smile every time.

But how long do those results actually last – and is teeth whitening a one-time investment or something you have to keep paying for to ensure durable results?

What does professional teeth whitening involve?

Before we tackle the question of durability and the lifespan of a whitened smile, what exactly does a professional treatment involve?

When you visit your dentist and ask for a professional whitening, you will first be invited to a consultation. This is where you have a chance to outline your ideal results, and where your dentist will advise on what you can expect from treatment. Past client results and experiences are a good way of managing expectations and understanding how your teeth will look following treatment. 

Following this, if you choose to proceed, then your whitening session will be booked.

During this session, the teeth are first cleansed with an activating paste. Whitening agent is then applied to the teeth, before a laser using blue spectrum LED light is shone directly onto the teeth. This laser is used in bursts of between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on the severity and depth of the stains, breaking down and lifting stains and discolouration from the teeth.

Crucially, this process attacks both extrinsic and intrinsic staining and discolouration – making it the most effective treatment option for all types of stains

The entire process takes around an hour, with two or three bursts required to optimise results.

How long can I expect the results to last?

One of the reasons why so many clients choose professional whitening is the instant results. Clients will leave their whitening treatment session with a brighter smile and will reap the benefits of their investment instantly. 

With the right care and attention after whitening, a smile that has been illuminated and brightened using professional treatment methods can last upwards of two years. Conversely, teeth that have been whitened via other methods, including at-home whitening kits and other DIY methods, are subject to diverse results, with some claiming to see quick and lasting results, while others report no change at all to the colour of their teeth.

For lasting and visible results, it is always best to opt for a professional whitening treatment – not least because a trained dental practitioner will underpin the entire treatment with safety and comfort in mind. 

Keep reading for tips on prolonging your white smile and ensuring that it lasts for two years or more.

Tips for prolonging a whiter smile after teeth whitening

Following a professional teeth whitening session or treatment, your dentist should recommend a series of steps to take to prolong your whiter smile. This approach to aftercare differs depending on the dentist; however, most clients will find that it covers the basics of oral hygiene, with some additional tips on food and drinks to avoid

Here are some top tips to ensure that the results of your teeth whitening withstand the test of time.

  • Practise good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush twice per day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. 
  • Visit your dentist and dental hygienist for regular check-ups.
  • Avoid drinks that are renowned for causing staining across the teeth. These include coffee and red wine. 
  • Cut down on fizzy and carbonated drinks, as well as foods that are high in citrus levels. These can affect the enamel that protects the teeth, contributing towards increased staining.
  • Minimise or completely cut out lifestyle habits that are affecting your teeth (and your overall health). Smoking tobacco should be at the top of this list! 
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in vegetables – especially those that naturally cleanse the teeth.
  • Consume water after drinking or eating anything that is renowned for causing staining to your teeth. This will help to wash away any residual colour that can contribute towards the discolouration of your whiter smile. 

Finally, if you notice the results of your whitening starting to dull over time, then reach out to your dentist to discuss a touch-up appointment. 

The benefits of teeth whitening 

Before we leave you to book your next teeth whitening session with your local dentist, here are a few benefits of professional whitening as reported by clients across the UK and beyond.

When you book and undergo a teeth whitening treatment session, the results aren’t just physical but mental as well. Clients who complete a successful whitening treatment often report a boost in self-esteem and confidence – making it the perfect investment ahead of a major event, milestone, or even something as simple as a job interview or date. 

What’s more, whiter teeth can have a positive impact on your professional life and reputation – with people often considering those with a wider and brighter smile to be more trustworthy and to take better care of themselves and therefore their clients or customers.

Rightly or wrongly, a whiter smile is often intrinsically linked with better overall health – making it a great go-to for those who want to improve their image, both for themselves and for those around them.

To find out more about teeth whitening and to book your whitening treatment, get in touch with your local dentist today.