You are currently viewing How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

 Medically Reviewed by Dr. Charles Dennis, DMD, on February 2, 2023

You may be interested in getting your teeth whitened or already have it done. Whichever the case may be, this article discusses the different types of teeth whitening and the longevity of each, with tips to keep your smile bright and white.


Teeth whitening before and after in scranton pa


There are many different options for teeth whitening based on your specific needs. By understanding how teeth become discolored and how long typical teeth whitening methods last, you can guarantee to keep your smile whiter longer.

Click HERE to scroll down to the bottom of this article to view a summary of everything you need to know.


How long do different teeth whitening methods last?

This section compares the most common in-office and over-the-counter methods for whitening your teeth. It’s important to remember that how long each of these methods last and how well they work is dependent upon your daily oral hygiene habits, which we will discuss further later in this article.


Zoom! Whitening

is a quick, one-hour procedure done at your dentist under the observation of professionals using methods to preserve your gums during the process, with little to no sensitivity. Using hydrogen peroxide gel activated with an LED light, a dental professional will bleach your teeth up to 8 shades whiter in one office visit.

Typically, Zoom teeth whitening will last between 1 year to 2 years, depending on your daily oral hygiene, intake of staining foods, and health.


Whitening Trays

are a take-home teeth whitening option that you can obtain from your dentist. Under the suggestion of professionals and how quickly you are looking to see results, they will select the best whitening tray option for you. These custom-fitted trays whiten your teeth over the course of days or a few weeks- all done in the comfort of your own home.

The average teeth whitening tray method should last 6-8 months, up to one year, depending on maintenance.


Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips

can be found at your local drugstore and offer a quick, affordable solution to teeth discoloration. However, since this option isn’t under the advice of professionals, it can be riskier, doing damage to your gums and enamel. Different strips contain different percentages of the whitening agent (typically hydrogen peroxide), determining how quickly you can whiten your teeth. We recommend consulting with your dentist if you want to try this method.

If done correctly, you can keep your teeth white for 4-6 months with OTC whitening strips.


Why are my teeth yellow or discolored?

Teeth discoloration or yellowing can occur for two main types of reasons: internal & external stains.


Internal teeth discoloration

are the most difficult of the two to whiten, but not always impossible. Reasons for intrinsic or internal discoloration/yellowing include disease, medication/treatment (example: chemotherapy may cause discoloration), aging (the natural deterioration of enamel), and trauma (mouth trauma can result in poor blood flow to your tooth’s nerves, causing discoloration).

Not all in-office and OTC teeth whitening treatments may work for these types of staining. Frequently, treatments can only focus on the external stains, so it’s essential to consult with your dentist to determine if you can effectively whiten your teeth.


External teeth stains

are your typical reasons for teeth discoloration and yellowing, and often can be prevented and maintained by proper oral hygiene. In addition, certain foods, drinks, tobacco, and products can cause a change in color on the outside of your teeth and most often can be fixed with teeth whitening.


How to make your teeth whitening method last

Once you go through the process of whitening your teeth, of course, you want them to stay white for as long as possible! While there is no one-stop solution that will last forever, there are ways to make sure your teeth stay white for the maximum duration of the method you choose.
Be mindful of your food & drink consumption.

Drinks such as coffee, wine, sodas, certain juices, and tea can easily stain your teeth over time. Foods with dyes, sauces, and even certain fruits/vegetables (like berries and beets) can cause discoloration as well. Manage your intake of these foods and drinks, and make sure to brush your teeth shortly after consuming them (unless it is acidic, then it’s recommended to wait a little bit longer).

TIP: Use a straw when drinking the above beverages to minimize the likelihood of the coffee, soda, or juice touching your teeth.


Smoking/Tobacco Use

Due to the nicotine and tar found in tobacco products, teeth will yellow or even turn brownish. This is because it will latch onto the enamel of your teeth and slowly seep in through tiny pores. Avoid smoking or using tobacco products (such as chewing tobacco) to keep your teeth white.


Brush your teeth

The easiest way to maintain your freshly whitened teeth is to make sure you brush them properly for at least two minutes, twice a day. You can use a whitening toothpaste recommended to be safe by dental professionals (often noted on the label) and continue to help keep those stains away.

Not all whitening toothpaste is safe, so ask your dentist for recommendations on which one is right for you! Most whitening toothpaste has peroxide, charcoal, or other chemicals that remove stains over time. However, some of these brands use abrasives that may harm your enamel or cause sensitivity. Seek professional advice if this occurs.


Bi-Annual Dentist Visits

Lastly, it is essential to make sure you go to the dentist for a cleaning every six months. A dentist or dental hygiene specialist will clean your teeth to remove plaque, which is easily stained and may reduce the appearance of staining. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask about any questions or concerns you have regarding your teeth whitening journey!



  • Most in-office or in-home teeth whitening procedures your dentist provides can last for up to 1 to 2 years.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products, such as whitening strips, last for a few months and can harm your teeth if done improperly.
  • Always consult with your dentist regarding different teeth whitening options, and seek care if you experience any discomfort or extreme sensitivity.
  • Internal discoloration may be harder to whiten & keep white.
  • External staining can often be easily whitened and maintained by avoiding certain foods/drinks.
  • Avoid smoking, which causes teeth to be yellow.
  • Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice daily, or after consuming food or drink that might stain your teeth to maintain your freshly whitened smile.
  • Go to the dentist bi-annually (every 6 months) to get plaque removed (which stains latch on to)

If you are in the Northeastern Pennsylvania, Scranton area, use Abington Center’s online booking system or contact the office with the information below to schedule an appointment with Dr. Charles Dennis & the team to get your teeth whitened– so you can smile with confidence.

Phone: (570) 587-4031
116 North State Street
Clarks Summit, PA 18411
Fax: (570) 587-8823

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