Teeth whitening is one of the best ways to drastically improve your smile’s appearance. So, how long does teeth whitening last, and is it worth having in-chair treatments?
Studies show that the majority of Australians don’t feel confident about the look of their smiles. In fact, according to a national survey conducted by the Extra Oral Healthcare Program for World Oral Health Day, 22% of them feel that the colour of their teeth is the main reason why they don’t like their smile.
Professional teeth whitening is steadily becoming a popular option for addressing discoloured smiles — a consumer survey by the Australian Dentistry Association in 2021 found that 22 per cent of Aussies had whitened their teeth. To shed more light on the viability of teeth whitening, we’ve written this article with expert insights into the duration of teeth whitening by a professional dentist, along with practical tips to extend and maximise the longevity of the results.
How long does teeth whitening last?
On average, professional teeth whitening by a dentist will typically last from 6 months to 2 years. Results will vary from patient to patient, depending on how well the teeth respond to the whitening treatment, and the patient’s oral health routine.
There are also take-home kits that can be applied without the supervision of a dentist that whitens the teeth. However, these last much shorter than an in-chair treatment — about 3-4 months, after which they will need to be reapplied to maintain the effect.
What causes teeth staining?
Even with healthy oral habits and regular brushing, our teeth will naturally discolour over time. Stained teeth are not typically a sign of bad oral health, but they can still prevent your smile from looking its best.
Teeth staining can be caused by a combination of internal or external factors. Internal factors for example include the rate of absorption of fluoride during younger years, or discolouration due to certain medications taken as a child. External factors like what we eat, poor oral hygiene, and smoking can also lead to teeth staining.
How does professional teeth whitening work?
In an in-chair teeth whitening treatment, a whitening gel enriched with hydrogen peroxide as the active bleaching agent is applied to the surface of the teeth. This potent bleach penetrates the enamel, initiating an oxidation reaction that eliminates staining agents creating a pearly white appearance.
Once the whitening gel has set in, dentists will apply a powerful light to accelerate the reaction. This teeth whitening process is effective for addressing both internal and external staining and is completely safe and painless.
Tips to make your teeth whitening last longer
So, what can be done to make your teeth stay white for as long as possible?
Avoid certain foods
Firstly, you should avoid eating or drinking foods that are more likely to stain your teeth. Examples include coffee and wine, foods with a lot of food colouring present, or acidic food like lemons or curry. These types of food can potentially stain your teeth even after effective whitening treatment.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Multiple studies have shown that smoking excessively yellows teeth, not to mention cause gum disease and other oral health issues. Quitting the habit will allow your teeth to remain pristine and white for a longer period.
Practice good oral hygiene
This should go without saying but practicing continued good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing will promote better health for your teeth, helping them stay white.
Attend check-up appointments
Last but not least, be sure to attend subsequent check-ups with your dentist. Typically, your dentist will remind you to come in for a touch-up appointment every few months to freshen the appearance of your teeth. However, if you notice any staining, you can also set an appointment to get it removed before it sets into your teeth and becomes harder to remove.
Is professional teeth whitening worth it?
For those who want a gleaming smile that they can flash with confidence, teeth whitening is definitely worth it. The long-term benefits of a more confident self from knowing that you look your best are well worth the cost of professional teeth whitening.
At Vogue Dental Studios, our teeth whitening treatments are applied expertly by our dentists using the state-of-the-art Philips Zoom to give our clients instantly brighter and whiter smiles. Book a teeth whitening appointment with our clinics in Sydney, Melbourne or on the Gold Coast today for whiter teeth and a more beautiful smile!
Chronic maker of bucket lists and makeover dreams. Currently ripping through another mystery novel and most likely multitasking.