How Long Does It Take to Whiten Teeth?

How Long Does It Take to Whiten Teeth?

Getting beautiful whiter teeth can take anywhere from an hour to a few days depending on the method you use. There are a few different methods and products to whiten teeth and they all come at different price points. All have different levels of effectiveness too.

The two standard options are kits you can buy and use at home and professional teeth whitening from a dentist. Many options also exist within those two categories so it pays to take a look at all of them before you decide which way to go.

At-Home Whitening

The best teeth whiteners are going to be peroxide-based products. That will mean it will either have carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide in the product. Both are good for removing stains. The effectiveness will depend on how much peroxide is in it and how you use it.

One concern for dentists when people use at-home whiteners is overuse. Some use them so much that they damage their teeth. Teeth can become transparent if you overuse whiteners and the chemicals could hurt the enamel without proper use. Be sure to follow the directions on the box to avoid this.

Another problem with home whitening kits is they can cause tooth sensitivity in some. It depends on the kit, the strength of the chemicals, and whether the person already has tooth sensitivity issues.

A couple of the best home whitener kits are the SmileDirectClub Bright on Premium Teeth Whitening Kit and the Spotlight Oral Care Teeth Whitening Strips. The Bright kit will whiten teeth in a week without causing any tooth sensitivity.

The kit is different from most because it includes an LED light device with the whitening gel, so it’s more comfortable than other kits and gets you closer to what you would get in a dental office.

The Spotlight strips are cheaper but will take two weeks to see a noticeable difference. You have to wear them for an hour each time. However, they can lighten your teeth up to five shades.

Dental Office Whitening

Those choosing to visit a dentist for teeth whitening treatments will find that is the most effective way to get the results you want. A dentist can be sure you don’t have any other problems like tooth decay that would prohibit a good whitening session. They will also review the different shades with you to find the desired shade and advise you on how to achieve that goal.

For many, one treatment is enough to satisfy a patient but further treatments may be necessary for those with darker, stained teeth to reach their optimum shade.

There are two types of teeth whitening treatments available at a dental office. One is the conventional teeth whitening method and the other is laser teeth whitening, which has become popular because it’s not only effective but quicker.

Conventional Teeth Whitening

Standard whitening treatments typically use a mouth tray. The tray is crafted from an impression of the patient’s teeth. It fits well and coats every tooth with a bleaching product, which is usually a whitening gel. Bleaching products from a dentist are going to contain more peroxide than the at-home kits. The tray also serves to protect gums from chemicals.

The patient must keep the tray in their mouth for up to an hour and a half, biting down on it, under a light.

Laser Whitening

There are some benefits to using this treatment in that you don’t have to always use a customized mouth tray and it can be completed in 30 to 60 minutes rather than 90 minutes.

With this treatment, the dentist coats teeth with a whitening paste rather than a gel. The paste is painted on the teeth while a gel is placed over the gums as a protective barrier. A laser activates the molecules of the bleaching agent and is quick to whiten them in as little as a half-hour. This is a good solution for those who don’t want to sit in a dental chair for a long period.

One product being used by some dentists is the Phillips Zoom product. It uses a blue LED light with a gel to rapidly whiten teeth. It also includes a home kit you take with you after your dental visit. An advantage here is that plans can be customized to suit your exact needs.

Best Whitening Toothpaste

Those who aren’t ready to invest in a full-scale whitening product or who want to keep their white teeth after treatment should invest in good toothpaste. Two of the best are Colgate Optic White Pro Series Whitening Toothpaste and Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste. Both work well with the biggest difference being that the Sensodyne product is suited for those with sensitive teeth.

The Colgate product is classified as vegan and the Sensodyne product is sulfate-free.

Most people will use a combination of these products to get a white, bright smile and keep it maintained. It may take some experimentation but you can find an oral health and whitening routine that works for you.

Teeth Stain Prevention


There’s a lot of information about the common teeth stainers like smoking or tobacco use, coffee, and tea. But did you know other popular common foods can leave terrible teeth stains?


One of the worst offenders is pasta sauce. Tomatoes are acidic and cling to teeth. Plus, their red color stains. Other items like curry, balsamic vinegar, and berries also stain teeth badly. Curry has a deep yellow pigmentation and balsamic vinegar has both a dark color and acid. Berries also have strong colors with acid that contribute to heavy staining.

You can have a brighter smile and a healthier mouth by making a dental appointment today! We can create a treatment plan that meets your goals and keeps your mouth healthy.

Anyone with questions about how to get whiter teeth and maintain a great smile should schedule a consultation. An exam and evaluation can show you where to start to get the smile you always wanted!

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