Novato Dentist Discusses How Long Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments Last

Written by Dr. McConnell on Aug 2, 2012

Teeth whitening is one of the quickest ways to improve your appearance dramatically. Your smile is your calling card and one of the first things people notice about you. Having a teeth whitening treatment by a Novato Dentist can not only change the way people see you, but it can improve your feeling of self-confidence. When having a teeth whitening treatment, most people want to know how long it will last.

Any whitening process, whether it be over the counter or professional, will require a certain amount of maintenance.  The benefit of professional whitening, because they include professional strength whitening products, will typically last the longest and require the least upkeep. Generally speaking,the maximum benefit professional teeth whitening treatments performed by a cosmetic dentist, can last anywhere between 6 to 12 months. After this time period, the benefits will start to fade. Your individual oral hygiene habits as well as your age will determine how long your whitening treatment will last.

A diet that includes a lot of staining food or beverages; such as coffee, tea, berries or red wine, will also influence how long the whitening lasts. The good news with professional whitening is all you have to do to return the teeth to their maximum whitening is to wear your take home maintenance trays for a day or two, and your teeth typically return to the same white you had after your professional whitening.  You are good to go for another 6 to 12 months.  This is much easier than over the counter products which often demand that you use the product almost daily to keep the maximum whiteness.

Of course, there are steps you can take that will extend the teeth whitening results as long as possible. The main culprits that cause teeth to stain and darken are smoking, coffee, red wine and dark teas, which all contain tooth-staining agents. Eliminating or avoiding these items can help extend the effects of your tooth whitening. Touch-ups by your Novato Dentist every 4 to 6 months will also help a white smile last longer.

Another factor that can influence how long a teeth whitening treatment lasts is the structure of your teeth. Crooked or overcrowded teeth can cause plaque and bacteria to linger in spaces between teeth, possibly spreading and leading to discoloration as well as other oral health issues. Using a tooth whitening toothpaste recommended by your dentist or hygienist after each meal will also aid in maintaining a bright, white smile. Ask your dentist to recommend a mouth rinse to help remove bacteria and stain-causing food particles from between your teeth.

There are no teeth whitening procedures that will produce permanent results. Especially as we age, our teeth become somewhat porous, absorbing staining agents from tobacco, coffee, red wine, etc. If you begin to notice your teeth are becoming yellowed again, ask your dentist before having any other tooth whitening treatment, even an over-the-counter kit. Too much whitening too fast should be avoided, as it causes some patients sensitivity.