How Long Does It Take to Whiten Teeth?

Many of us want whiter teeth. Even if we brush and floss every day, it can feel impossible to maintain a pearly white smile. Bacteria and general plaque buildup can eventually result in tooth discoloration. 

Alternatively, many of us have dental work as we age, and may get fillings, bonds, or other stuff that can affect the color of our smile, too. 

So, you want to use teeth whitening products, or are considering going to the dentist for teeth whitening procedures. But just how long will it take to whiten your teeth, and are there any reasons to not use a quick bleaching session? Let’s examine both of these questions and more.

How Can You Whiten Your Teeth? 

You can whiten your teeth in a couple of different ways. Generally, people try to whiten their teeth by:

  • Removing stained enamel.  Enamel is the actual mineral matter of your teeth, so doing this can be harmful over the long-term and cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Coloring or bleaching the teeth.   This literally removes color from your teeth, but can also lead to extra side effects later down the road.
  • Heavy brushing and flossingto slowly wear down discolored enamel, which is eventually replaced with healthy, white enamel.

Although brushing better can produce results over the long-term, this isn’t normally what people think of when they decide to whiten their teeth. When people decide they want a whiter smile without brushing better for months or years, there are two basic choices to pick between. To bleach or not to bleach, that is the question!


Teeth whitening by  bleaching your teeth is generally successful. However, bleaching is only really effective for certain types of teeth stains. If your teeth are discolored because of a genetic factor inherent in your enamel, then bleaching won’t really provide long-term effects.

The benefits of teeth whitening with bleach? It’s by far the fastest way to whiten your teeth in the world. That’s because you can usually only get professional bleaching done at a dentist’s office. In this case, you’ll walk out of the dentist’s office with teeth between two and three shades lighter than when you walked in.

In other words, you can have brighter teeth in as little as 90 minutes if you go the bleaching route.

Reasons to Not Use Bleaching

Additionally, bleaching can cause harm to your teeth and can result in several negative side effects. For instance, bleaching can:

  • Cause your teeth to hurt as a result of damage to their enamel
  • Cause your teeth to be oddly colored; that is, some sections of your teeth may be clearly whiter than other sections

Alternatives to Bleaching Your Teeth

Aside from bleaching, is it possible to  whiten your teeth without serious side effects? Absolutely!

The key is to find  safe teeth whitening products that don’t cause long-term damage to your teeth and don’t increase the likelihood of cavities or gum disease. As you might expect, this has a lot to do with the ingredients included in a tooth whitening product - see the best products for teeth whitening here, too. 

Let’s break down some of the best alternatives to bleaching on the market.

Whitening Toothpaste

A whitening toothpaste is a perfect alternative, as it’ll be able to polish away the cavity-causing bacteria that are commonly associated with tooth discoloration. It provides a gentle whitening effect over time without being too rough on your teeth and creating porous holes called microtubules – these are often a problem with hardcore toothpastes that grind down your teeth’s enamel over time.

Check out Dr. Brite’s  whitening toothpaste with activated charcoal. It’s a toothpaste made with natural ingredients, including coconut oil and aloe juice. It’s gentle, excellent for overall oral health, and can whiten your teeth in between two and six weeks without fluoride or sulfates. It’s also effective as an anti-cavity toothpaste!


You can also use a whitening mouthwash to achieve a similar effect. Mouthwash is actually a great way to  improve your overall oral health since swishing the solution around will get rid of bad breath bacteria and cavity-causing bacteria that may not be frequently reached or removed by your toothbrush.

Naturally,  Dr. Brite’s Whitening Mouthwash is a perfect example! It’s flavored for minty freshness, and contains excellent ingredients like peppermint oil, aloe leaf juice, coconut oil, anise extract, and activated coconut charcoal. All in all, it’s a great complementary product when used with a top-tier whitening toothpaste. When used by itself, it’ll still provide results within a few months!

Whitening Pens

Then there are whitening pens. These are essentially whitening gel-based solutions, which are applied with twistable pen devices. You can apply the whitening gel on the surface of your teeth, and since the topical whitening solution is applied directly to the stains of your teeth, it results in the fastest whitening progress.

Dr. Brite’s Extreme Whitening Pen demonstrates this capability, all without any sulfates, parabens, or other toxic elements that might wear down your teeth's enamel and cause cavity problems later down the road. It's easy to use and the whitening gel comes off with just a slight bit of pressure, so running the pen over your teeth every day is quick and easy.


Want to check out all three of these products?  Dr. Brite’s Extreme Whitening Kit has all three of them, plus additional teeth whitening tools, so you can get the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted in no time.

How Long Will It Take to Get White Teeth with Alternative to Bleaching? 

As you can see, each of the above whitening tools provides brighter teeth across a longer time span compared to professional bleaching at a dentist’s office - see 'Teeth Whitening Pens vs Strips vs Bleaching' article - but don’t let this dissuade you, or attract you to the bleaching method (see also whether teeth whitening strips work and whether whitening  strips are bad for your teeth).

Remember, each of those time frames assumes that you only useone of the tools perfectly. What happens when you combine all three, or even more?

Your whitening results will appear much faster and cause a far whiter smile than you might expect with natural ingredients. Nonetheless, you will still have to pay attention to what to eat after teeth whitening, as you'd want best possible results.

Using a teeth whitening pen, whitening toothpaste, and whitening mouthwash will undoubtedly make your teeth look whiter and healthier on the order of a couple of weeks to a month. Also, check out how much teeth whitening will cost.



True, that’s still not quite as fast as what bleaching can provide. But, using these alternative whitening methods will give you the same dazzling smile without you having to worry about the whitening effect not taking to your teeth or possibly causing cavity issues later on.

You definitely don’t want to permanently damage your teeth, especially since it can be impossible for your teeth to repair any enamel that may be lost as a result of bleaching or other dental work. 

Put another way, using alternative tooth whitening products is the only way to guarantee that you’ll be able to have a dazzling smile and be able to really enjoy it at the same time. What good is a bright smile if your teeth are hurting the whole time, anyway?


All in all, most people should expect to get brighter teeth anywhere between two weeks and six weeks, provided they use the selection of teeth whitening products described above. Youcan go with a bleaching appointment at a local dentist and get brighter teeth within 90 minutes. But, we’d heavily recommend against it unless your tooth discoloration is specifically the type that best benefits from bleaching,and you can get a guarantee from your dentist that it won’t lead to any side effects.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions about teeth whitening or great products!


1. How long does it take for yellow teeth to turn white?

The teeth whitening processes can usually be accomplished in 1–2 weeks for naturally yellow teeth, but it could take as long as 2 months for blue/grey teeth.

2. Why do my teeth look more yellow after whitening?

Your teeth becoming yellower as you age is an uncommon occurrence. If some of your teeth become whiter after whitening while others turn yellow, this might indicate that your enamel is weak.

3. Is it better to whiten your teeth at night or in the morning?

It is recommended that dentists prescribe teeth whitening before bed since it lowers the chance of discoloration and gives your teeth time to rehydrate and remineralize during the night.

4. Is it too late to get white teeth?

You can always work on your smile. You can have your teeth whitened even if you are in your 70s or 80s. Any age can benefit from teeth whitening, which is a secure and efficient method of enhancing the appearance of your smile.

5. Why are my teeth yellow even though I brush?

Most often, external stains from drinking coffee, tea, or wine, or from smoking and other tobacco usage, are the main causes of tooth discoloration.

6. How do dentists clean yellow teeth?

Chairside bleaching is another name for in office treatments for bleaching, which is limited to a single dentist’s office visit. Before using a type of bleach on your teeth, the dentist will either apply a protective whitening gel to your gums or a rubber barrier, similar to a mouth guard.

7. How do I keep my teeth white after teeth whitening?

Tips for Maintaining White Teeth After Treatment

  • Don't drink coffee or tea. 
  • Skip the dark sauces. 
  • Avoid eating acidic foods, dark chocolate, and other things.
  • Avoid drinking sour fruit juice
  • Use straws
  • Floss your mouth
  • Brush your teeth
  • Use mouthwash.



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