How Long Should Free Teeth Whitening Last?

I went to a new dentist partly because I wasn’t happy with my old one and partly because this new one was offering free teeth whitening to new patients. I thought it would be the higher quality teeth whitening because they made the custom trays for me.

At first, I was quite pleased with how it was going and my teeth were much brighter. The gel lasted me about two weeks. Now, only a few months later, they are starting to stain again. I find it curious that they are staining right when it is time for me to go to a new appointment. Did they give me lesser quality whitening gel in order to keep my coming back?


Dear Miranda,

Teeth whitening trays
Teeth Whitening Trays

While it is true that dentists want you to come back both for their benefit and yours, it is unlikely that the gel was anything but professional strength. You saw good results after just two weeks which tells me it was the right gel.

Teeth whitening isn’t permanent and how long the teeth stay stain free depends a lot on the habits of the patient. This doesn’t just mean whether you brush regularly, which is important, but also the foods and beverages you consume.

For instance, certain beverages, such as coffee, tea, or certain wines will stain your teeth each time you consume them. If you are a smoker, that will also add to the staining. Even sauces, such as soy and curry will quickly stain your teeth. A good rule of thumb is if it will stain a white shirt, it will stain your teeth.

Keeping Them Pearly White

There are some things you can do. First, drink more water. While the water won’t whiten your teeth, it is better for both you and your teeth than coffee, tea, or alcohol. The more water you consume the better.

When you do eat or drink something that can stain your teeth, such as a delicious curry, brush your teeth afterward. Be careful though if you eat or drink anything acidic. You don’t want to brush those acids into the teeth. Neutralize those acids first by taking a quick swig of water around your mouth and then you will be fine with brushing.

Keep up your regular appointments and your dentist will very likely give you some more gel for touch ups, so keep those custom made trays. They’ll be good for years.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.