Do Bleaching Results Last Forever?

“Don't believe it if someone tells you that tooth bleaching is permanent, it's not true.” Says Cleveland cosmetic dentist John Heimke, DMD. “If you only ate and drank clear foods and liquids, then, yes, your results would last indefinitely, but this isn't realistic. On average, results last about three to six months.” To extend your results, avoid dark-colored foods and drinks, which can stain your teeth. However, Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS adds, “If you have a lot of yellow in your teeth, then you will get the best result, and that may last indefinitely."

“When the teeth are first bleached you may get an initial difference up to 15 shades, but it's not going to look like that the day after,” says Dr. Goldstein. These dramatic results are actually due to temporary dehydration of the teeth, which translates into a stark white, opaque look. “Bleach can seep deeper into a porous, dry tooth more so than a hydrated one, where saliva coats the outer layer of enamel,” he adds. Once the teeth are exposed to saliva again for a few hours, they will revert to a more natural hue. “Around eight shades is about right, depending on the guide used by your dentist. Don't be fooled though-your results won't be night and day, although they will be noticeable,” he says.

Find Teeth Whitening Doctors near you:
9 Comments
  • Niloufer Hamsayeh
    Posted on

    Great post and the popularity of bleaching is not surprising, giving the impact it can have on one's smile and overall confidence. As mentioned, make sure to use a professional whitening product that your dentist recommends for maintenance. Remember to also brush, rinse and floss thoroughly at all times to maintain proper oral-health.

  • andy
    Posted on

    Dr's What happens after you have a bleaching? can you get it re done say in 5-10 years if the effect wears off?

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    Thanks for the link, Dr. Hopkins- great information

  • H. Mikel Hopkins
    Posted on

    Fluoride absolutely does benefit your teeth. I have never heard of clandestine governmental reasons for promoting the use of fluoride. There is absolutely nothing in the whitening agent that will strengthen your teeth on it's own. As a reference, may I suggest you check out what the WHO has to say regarding the matter? http://www.who.int/ipcs/assessment/public_health/fluoride/en/

  • G. Heyman
    Posted on

    Dr. Goldstein's comments are so true. I am a dental hygienist and the best whitening result is when the tooth has a yellow, dingy, aging color. My patients that bleach can have results that last for months and even years. And, with their whiter teeth, their smile is more attractive.

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    Thanks for your thoughts, but that doesn't sound right... I thought fluoride really doesn't help teeth (government motives) and that it was something in the bleaching solution itself that makes teeth stronger. I guess I'll try to find it and post it here.

  • H. Mikel Hopkins
    Posted on

    It depends on what whitening solution is used. Some of the solutions contain fluoride and xylitol, which actually do help strengthen the teeth. Make sure you use professional whitening solution from a dentist you trust, and ask about the active ingredients in the solution.

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    I read somewhere that said using the bleaching trays at night (with the bleaching solution) can STRENGTHEN teeth. I always thought the opposite. How is this possible?

  • H. Mikel Hopkins
    Posted on

    Fantastic post! Tooth Whitening is the number one cosmetic procedure in the country, and it is one of the most inexpensive things that a person can do to spruce up their smile. Just as the article states, whitening is not permanent. My office participates in a "Whitening for Life" program, in which patients are given whitening solution when they keep their hygiene maintenance appointments up to date. This allows them to "touch up" and maintain their whitening results throughout the year!

From around the web