How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last: What You Should Expect Afterwards

  • by Colin
  • 7 min read

Many day to day activities as well as foods and beverages can result in tooth discoloration, and this might end up contributing to your decision to whiten your teeth. Things like tobacco use, coffee, tea, and even some medications can cause discoloration, and your teeth may also turn yellow with age as your white enamel wears away. 

Whatever the case may be, there are many teeth whitening options available on the market… but are they permanent? 

The longevity of your results after whitening your teeth may vary based on the products you use.

How Long Do The Results From Store-Bought Products Last?

For whitening toothpaste, you can expect the results to last around amonth or so before discoloration occurs, and whitening strips may give you whiter teeth for around two months, but sadly, the strips may be bad for your teeth, too (see also, 'Do Teeth Whitening Strips Work?'). 

The general rule of thumb for OTC methods and store-bought products is that they really won’t last for years because they are designed for convenience. Additionally, if the stains on your teeth are more extensive, using store-bought products may be less effective than a professional whitening procedure.

Another downside of store-bought products is that many of them include harmful ingredients like sulfates and parabens, and they can harm your health over time if you plan to use these methods long-term. Some products can also cause tooth sensitivity, meaning your teeth will cause you pain when you consume hot or cold foods and beverages. 

Staying mindful of the ingredients in the products you choose, or consulting your dentist before starting a new teeth whitening regimen with OTC products, can help ensure that you don’t end up harming your health and wellbeing. 

Does Professional Teeth Whitening Yield Longer-Lasting Results?

Professional teeth whitening procedures can give you results that last two years or longer, and this method may also pose fewer health risks. 

When it comes down to it, though, what has the greatest impact on the longevity of your results is your lifestyle. If you have your teeth whitened and then return to a lifestyle where you consume multiple cups of coffee on a daily basis and regularly smoke cigarettes, you should expect the whitening to last for a much shorter period of time, because coffee and tobacco is a major contributor to discoloration - see also 'What to Eat after Teeth Whitening'.

If you plan to spend the time and money on a professional teeth whitening procedure (see how much teeth whitening costs), you should plan accordingly to make some lifestyle changes afterward. 

How Can I Make Teeth Whitening Last Longer?

We get it, sometimes store-bought products are the easiest option when it comes to teeth whitening. Not everyone has the time or money for a professional procedure, even if store-bought options may only give you temporary results. So, what can you do to  make your teeth whitening last a little longer? How to Get a Holiday Picture-Perfect Smile?

There are several steps you can follow that will help make your white teeth last. 

Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

Taking care when it comes to your oral hygiene routine can make a big difference in terms of whiter teeth. Good oral hygiene entails brushing your teeth twice a day (you can even choose a  naturally whitening toothpaste) and flossing at least once a day. Making sure that this becomes a habit is the best way to keep your teeth looking bright and white and to keep your teeth healthy. 

Good oral hygiene also means making sure you have the right tools at your disposal. It is best to replace your toothbrush every three months or replace your toothbrush head every three months if you opt for an electric toothbrush. Replacing your toothbrush regularly helps make sure your teeth are getting as clean as you think they are. Switching out your manual toothbrush for a  sonic toothbrush one can also make a huge difference because sonic toothbrushes are far more effective at removing plaque.

Paying Attention to Your Water Intake

Staying hydrated is not only a very important part of your overall health, but it is also crucial when it comes to keeping your mouth clean. Drinking water can help wash away plaque, food particles, and other bacteria that may be settling around your teeth and near your gums. 

Believe it or not, water can also help wash stains from your enamel, making it a pretty important part of your teeth whitening regimen!

Watching Out for Certain Stain-Causing Foods 

Certain foods and beverages can make your teeth turn yellow faster, so avoiding these culprits can help keep your teeth white for longer. 

Red wine, coffee and tea, dark-colored sodas, tomato sauce, and dark fruits like blackberries and cherries are all things you should be mindful of if you are trying to keep your teeth looking white. These foods can cause stains by leaving particles that settle into the layer of your teeth around your enamel, which then causes discoloration. 

Using a Straw For Stain-Inducing Beverages

We know, we know -- totally giving up your coffee addiction or avoiding wine in the evenings just for the sake of white teeth is probably a lot to ask. Not to fear: using a straw can help. 

When you drink through a straw, the liquid goes straight to the back of your mouth, meaning that most of the contact with your teeth is avoided. If you are an iced-coffee lover, you don’t have to give up your favorite drink… just opt for a straw. Additionally, if you are a fiend for the stain-inducing dark fruits previously mentioned, blending them into a smoothie and drinking it through a straw may be a good solution for you. 

Paying Your Dentist a Visit

One of the best things you can do to make your white teeth last is to go to the dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. Even if you are following all of the other tips to keep your teeth white, it is still important to have routine teeth cleanings done for your oral hygiene. Your dentist may also be able to recommend products or other tips that will help keep your teeth looking clean and white. 

Opting for Quality Whitening Products

If you end up deciding that store-bought and over the counter methods are the best choice for you right now, it is important to be aware of what you are buying. Opt for products that don’t have harmful ingredients like parabens, sulfates, and phthalate. Some store-bought products can also leave you with painful, overly sensitive teeth, so it is important that you keep this in mind, too. Also, bear in mid our 'Best Teeth Whitening Products' review.

Dr. Brite’s Extreme Whitening Toothpaste is cruelty-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates, making it a great choice if you are looking for easy teeth whitening options that won’t harm your health in the long-run. 

It also will not cause sensitivity, and it includes natural ingredients like aloe vera juice and peppermint oil. When paired with our  Whitening Mouthwash, your whitening regimen is that much better. Our mouthwash features ingredients like coconut oil, aloe vera, and vitamin C, and it works to soothe and nourish your gums while also detoxifying your mouth with activated charcoal and sea salt. 

If you have already fallen down the drugstore-teeth-whitening-rabbit-hole and now you’re left with sensitive teeth that cause you pain when you eat your favorite hot or cold meals, we have you covered for that, too! Opt for our  Sensitivity Relief Toothpaste for a sulfate-free way to soothe your troubles. This product includes natural ingredients and incorporates the Ayurvedic principles of coconut oil pulling, making it a great way to soothe your aching teeth without posing other potential risks to your health and wellbeing. 

The Takeaway

Teeth whitening is a fast and easy way to combat yellow stains that are caused by various lifestyle and food choices, such as tobacco use, coffee and tea, dark fruits, and even age, as your enamel wears away over time. 

Opting for store-bought products to whiten your teeth can be enticing because of the price and convenience, but it is important to know the ingredients in the products you choose in order to avoid tooth sensitivity as well as larger health risks that result from parabens and sulfates in formulations. 

Going to the dentist for a professional teeth whitening procedure is another great option, and the results are likely to last much longer than those of store-bought products. A trip to the dentist can give you teeth whitening that will last two years or longer, whereas store-bought products generally only last for a month or two depending on your diet and lifestyle. 

Following certain steps, like practicing good oral hygiene and regularly getting your teeth cleaned by a dentist, can help make your teeth whitening results last longer. 

Let us help you on your teeth whitening journey with Dr. Brite’s line of  naturally derived whitening products -- sensitivity-free, always!


1. Is it bad to whiten your teeth?

Teeth are generally considered safe after tooth whitening. Most effective teeth whitening treatments contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Dentists can prescribe higher concentrations (which provide longer-lasting whitening) that are more effective.

2. Is whitening your teeth permanent?

Whitening your teeth is not a permanent procedure. Individuals can experience it for months or even years, depending on what they are experiencing. Taking coffee, tea, or red wine will reduce the effectiveness of the whitening process.

3. How many days does teeth whitening last?

A peroxide-based gel or strip is often used for tooth whitening. For most of these treatments, a consistent regiment of two weeks is necessary. After the treatments are completed, the effects will last for approximately four months.

4. How much does it cost to get your teeth professionally whitened?

Depending on which products and procedures are used, teeth whitening costs can vary widely. The most expensive option is professional teeth whitening in an office, which costs between $500 and $1,000 per visit.

5. How do dentist whiten teeth?

It takes roughly an hour for a dentist to whiten your teeth professionally. During the treatment, a tooth whitening gel containing 25% to 40% hydrogen peroxide is applied to your teeth. Then a specific heating lamp is directed at your teeth for three 20-minute intervals, with reapplication of the gel in between.