Is Teeth Whitening Permanent | How Long Does it Last?

Is Teeth Whitening Permanent?

In a time when a bright and beautiful smile is the first thing you see in a person, teeth whitening procedures are a favorite. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), 90% of patients ask to whiten their teeth. But the common concern that remains for such patients is that “Is teeth whitening permanent?”

In this article, we guide you to understand what teeth whitening is, its different methods, and the benefits of doing the procedure. We will also answer your question, “Is teeth whitening permanent?” and much more. 

What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening treatments are among the most prevalent cosmetic dental services that make your teeth look whiter and brighter than before. The motivation behind this procedure is to remove stains and discolorations your teeth may obtain over time. These stains usually develop due to aging, consuming certain foods and beverages, constant smoking, etc.

A teeth whitening procedure helps to restore the natural whiteness of your teeth. This procedure usually involves applying a whitening gel or bleach on your teeth to make them lighter. It won’t paint your teeth a brilliant white but only lighten the existing color several shades.

Two Main Types of Teeth Whitening Methods

Before asking yourself, “Is teeth whitening permanent?” understand that theirs more than one way to do it. However, the longevity of its effect may vary. Here are the two main methods of teeth whitening:

1. At-Home Teeth Whitening

At-home teeth whitening solutions use a lower-concentration bleaching agent and are easily available in stores. This means you can buy these bleaching agents without a prescription since they are considered safe for general use. Some common at-home solutions include whitening toothpaste, strips, gels, etc.

At-home solutions are incredibly convenient because they can be used according to your schedule. The problem is that these solutions take longer to show results and don’t last as long as professional treatments.

2. Professional In-Office Teeth Whitening

Dentists typically do professional in-office teeth whitening procedures. Its concentration is higher than in-home solutions, usually containing a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and bleach. This allows for more noticeable and immediate results under the care of a dental professional.

Additionally, they can provide desensitizing agents that help reduce tooth sensitivity and the common side effects of teeth whitening treatments. The only drawback of in-office treatments is that some require several short appointments, depending on your needs. Each session tends to last about 15-20 mins. 

How is Professional Teeth Whitening Done?

Before we wonder, “Is teeth bleaching permanent?” let’s go through the several steps when booking a teeth whitening appointment with a dentist:

  • As you’re starting, the dentist will determine the current shade of your teeth with a chart and discuss how whiter teeth can become.
  • Then, a dental polishing, called pumice, is applied to your teeth to remove any plaque on their surface. 
  • The dentist will place a retractor in your mouth to ensure the whitening agent doesn’t harm your cheeks or tongue. A barrier will also be placed along your gumline to protect it. 
  • Now, your dentist will apply the whitening solution on the front surface and leave it on for up to an hour. Some whitening solutions also use curing lights or lasers to speed up the whitening process. 
  •  Once the whitening process is complete, your teeth are rinsed. The dentist will also apply fluoride to ease tooth sensitivity, a common whitening side effect
  • More dental visits might be scheduled until your desired shade is reached. 

Is Teeth Whitening Permanent?

The simple answer to “Is teeth whitening permanent?” is no, it’s not. Even with a professional whitening treatment, the effects would last only a few years. The longevity of the whitening effects depends entirely upon how you maintain your new, whiter teeth.

There are many factors that could affect your whitened teeth. Drinking colored beverages like coffee, soda, or red wine and consuming tobacco can lead to the recurrence of stains. People with thin enamel will also find the effects of teeth whitening fading quickly. 

Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening

While the answer to “Is teeth whitening permanent?” may not be as satisfactory as you hoped, the treatment still has many benefits. If you’re questioning, “Should I get my teeth whitened?” perhaps the following benefits will help you understand:

1. Better Oral Health

A whitening procedure can benefit oral health by removing the stains and yellow color on your teeth. Dental stains can lead to issues like tooth decay, gum diseases, plaque buildup, etc. So, while this treatment is for mainly cosmetic purposes, there are indirect benefits that improve oral health.

Some people might also adopt healthier choices to keep their teeth from staining again. They’ll be extra conscious of their diet and stick to nutritional foods. 

2. Self Esteem Boost

Whitening your teeth can also help boost your self-esteem. A whiter and brighter smile is often considered more attractive than a yellow-stained one. If you feel self-conscious about your teeth, professionally whitening your teeth can raise your confidence. 

Furthermore, a confident and attractive smile has the ability to improve your social and personal interactions. You become more approachable when you’re confident in your appearance, allowing others to comfortably and easily interact with you. 

3. Affordable Option

The problem with store-bought whitening products is that they can be expensive and often don’t work as well as advertised. On the other hand, a single in-office whitening session costs less than a year’s worth of store-bought products. They also draw better and more noticeable results. 

Moreover, the effects of professionally getting your teeth whitened are immediate. At-home solutions may take longer to show on your teeth and require consistent applications. In-office procedures are perfect for quick and significant results. 

Teeth Whitening: How Long Does it Last?

On an estimate, teeth whitening can last from a few months to 3 years, but it depends entirely on how much you take care of your teeth. While there is no such thing as a permanent teeth whitening solution, there are a few things you can do to prolong its effects, such as:

  • Avoid staining foods and drinks: Keep your teeth whiter for longer by avoiding foods and drinks that could stain them. This includes coffee, red wine, berries, etc. 
  • Exercise good oral hygiene: Maintain oral hygiene by brushing your teeth daily and flossing afterward between the teeth and gumline of your mouth.
  • Apply whitening toothpaste: You can use whitening toothpaste with mild abrasives and chemical agents that keep your teeth looking bright.
  • Remain hydrated: Drinking plenty of water to get rid of plaque buildup and staining, maintaining the overall health of your teeth. 


While the answer to “Is teeth whitening permanent?” is not as you hoped, this procedure still has a lot of good to it. The whiteness could last up to three years, maybe even more, if you properly care your teeth. Moreover, you don’t want to miss out on the added benefits of getting your teeth whitened. 

If you want to book an appointment for teeth whitening in Montclair, NJ, visit us at Dr. Arthur Yeh & Associates. We offer the best dentist treatments in Montclair, NJ, striving to give you the most beautiful and authentic smiles.