How long does tooth whitening last?

durée blanchiment dentaire

Tooth whitening is one of the main causes of visits to the dentist. Many people do not hesitate to use  peroxide, gel and other whitening products to have white teeth. Yellowing teeth are the main complaint of people, and this is what motivates the search for cosmetic dental treatments. In the race for beauty  standards, the search for cosmetic procedures has increased every day, and in dentistry, it has been no different. The technique of teeth whitening is the most sought after, but also the one that generates the most doubts. One of these concerns durability. After all, the investment must be worth it.  

Here is a guide that will inform you about the duration of a teeth whitening.

What is tooth whitening

Tooth whitening or "dental lightening" at the dentist consists of applying a whitening agent to your teeth. This whitening agent is composed of carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide or urea peroxide. It will act on the enamel and dentin to remove stains and lighten the color.

However, it is important to know that bleaching is neither absolute nor definitive. The natural color of a tooth varies from one person to another, and the results of the operation logically vary as well. However, you can expect an improvement of two to three shades with this method.

Why whiten your teeth?

Mainly to have a good self-esteem. Tooth color is a very important factor for many people, especially teenagers. Tooth whitening is a conservative aesthetic treatment and should be the first choice in aesthetic planning, according to professionals. Discoloration is reduced by the breakdown of the long carbon molecules present in the pigments that darken the tooth. This breakdown occurs due to free radicals resulting from the dissociation of hydrogen peroxide, which propagates through the dental tissue.

The different techniques of dental bleaching

Scaling your teeth

It is important to examine your mouth if your teeth have stains or tartar. If your mouth is prone to plaque and tartar, the whitening agent will have difficulty acting. To ensure that the whitening agent is not hindered by any obstacle, the professional will proceed with a scaling. In mild cases of discoloration, this may be enough to restore a pleasant color and remove unsightly stains. The next step is to adopt impeccable oral hygiene in order to keep your smile.

The laser chair


At the office, the professional first applies a protective cream to the lips and then puts in place a spreader to keep the mouth open. He then installs protections on the gums, the mucous membranes and the skin. He can then apply the whitening gel to the teeth. A lamp equipped with a laser beam then projects light; it enlarges the pores of the enamel to facilitate the penetration of the product, which is photosensitive. After only one hour, the results are immediate and visible.

The whitening lamp


This is the same principle as the laser lamp, but without the laser. A cold blue light is projected to activate the gel applied to the teeth. The whitening lamp is used by dentists, but also in "smile bars", which have been flourishing for several years in France. These bars are not medically supervised, so their employees are not allowed to use hydrogen peroxide at the same concentration as professionals. The results are therefore much less and ephemeral.

How long does tooth whitening last?

According to dentists, the effect of teeth whitening lasts from one to three years. Therefore, after this period, a touch-up whitening treatment can be performed. Compared to the initial whitening, this treatment is much faster and requires less time to apply the gel.

Can anyone whiten their teeth?

Can anyone whiten

Most people can have teeth whitening.

As long as the entire oral cavity is in good health, free of cavities, periodontal disease, mucosal lesions and a large number of cracks in the enamel. 

What about tooth sensitivity

Dental sensitivity is not a contraindication to treatment, according to professionals. They say that sensitivity is relative and depends on many factors, so each person may have more sensitive dental reactions than the other. Some adjustments must be made to minimize them, from using sensitivity-fighting toothpaste, fluoride, adjustments in gel concentration and application time, to even using laser therapy for sensitivity after whitening sessions.

The results of tooth whitening

Although some people can already see results after the first session, in principle, the results really appear after 15 days and are visible for an average of 4 years, depending on the patient's lifestyle (high consumption of coffee, tobacco, tea or not). 

To keep your teeth white   

First of all, it is important to understand that tooth discoloration is generally associated with the natural aging process of the tooth and with external factors correlated with food pigmentation, according to dentists. We can't do anything about the natural action of time, but we can do something about food.

If your diet has a high concentration of pigmented foods such as chocolates, coffee, teas, soft drinks, foods rich in natural or artificial coloring (beets and industrialized tomato sauce are on that list), the need for touch-up treatment will be faster and more frequent. For patients who smoke, the same may be true: the duration of bleaching will be shorter.

To prolong the effect of whitening, good hygiene should be maintained with brushing and flossing and avoid eating those chromogenic foods, which in addition to yellowing teeth, are correlated with other problems, such as cavities, oral cancer, etc. You should also avoid foods that can contribute to the discoloration of your teeth such as coffee, red wine and certain fruits.

Avoid using whitening gels at home, or carbamide peroxide gel. Instead, seek professional help and visit a dental office for permanent teeth whitening. 

You can brush your teeth with the Y-Brush toothbrush. It is a toothbrush that allows you to remove plaque from your teeth.

Tooth Whitening Kits

Many oral hygiene brands are developing ready-to-use kits at affordable prices containing hydrogen peroxide-based gel. It is less concentrated than in dental offices.

It is composed as follows:

  • Self-adhesive transparent strips: These are strips covered with 6% gel. They will take the shape of the teeth for a uniform deposit of the gel.
  • The gel with brush: it allows to apply the product for a selective use on some teeth or parts of teeth for a more localized staining.
  • Disposable trays: They are hygienic and disposable. They can be used directly because they do not require adaptation. They are ready to use and do not require prior adaptation. They are usually supplied with individual doses of gel that are ingenious and easy to carry.
    We hope this guide has helped you understand what tooth whitening is and why it is important to whiten your teeth. It is also important to know the techniques and duration of teeth whitening in order to understand the implications of this type of technique in detail. Tooth whitening is suitable for almost everyone, even those with sensitive teeth. It always brings good results. However, it is important to follow certain tips an d use tooth whitening kits if necessary.  
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