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How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

There is an assumption behind this question that is important to address before we actually answer the question itself.  Just in case you missed it, this question assumes that teeth whitening is not permanent.  Repeat: Teeth whitening is not permanent.

The results of teeth whitening do fade over time, so the bright white gleam slowly recedes.  The teeth will not likely return to their initial pre-whitening shade, but they will not stay at their whitest without intervention.

Why Does Teeth Whitening Fade Over Time?

Teeth whitening fades due to two factors.  One is external, over which you have some control.  The other is internal, and you have no control over it.

External Influences on Tooth Color

The most common causes of relapse in tooth color are due to the external stains we allow through the beverages we drink.  Coffee, tea, and red wine all lead to superficial staining of the enamel.  Tobacco of any kind has the same effect.

The good news is that external stains are easy to polish away with whitening toothpaste and professional teeth cleanings.  If polishing doesn’t get you back to your whitest shade, you will need to perform some maintenance whitening.

Internal Influences on Tooth Color

Yellowing of the teeth is a natural part of the aging process.  Enamel is the only part of the tooth that is naturally “white”.  The core structure just beneath a thin, translucent layer of enamel is actually a darker yellow shade.  As we age, this core structure called dentin thickens, and because it shows through the enamel, the teeth appear to get more yellow.

The good news is that professional teeth whitening will counteract this natural yellowing.

So How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Now that you understand the various causes of “whitening relapse”, you will understand our answer: that depends.

It depends on your habits that lead to external staining.  It depends on your use of whitening toothpaste and your commitment to consistent professional teeth cleanings with Phyllis and Nancy.  And it depends on the natural process of aging.

Want to Counteract the Relapse of Teeth Whitening?

The best option for you is investing in a set of custom-fitted teeth whitening trays.  These will lat for many years, allowing you to whiten whenever you want.  As soon as you notice fading of your bright smile, you can perform maintenance whitening.

What is Maintenance Whitening?

Maintenance whitening is simply whitening your teeth periodically to maintain the tooth color that you desire.  In general, with custom trays and professional whitening gel, you only need to whiten for 2-3 sessions to boost your smile back to its immediate post-whitening color.

More Questions about Teeth Whitening?

Call Designer Smiles today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ann & Dr. Lauren.  They can answer all of your teeth whitening questions and get you started with the best option for your specific goals.