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Why Don't My Teeth Whitening Treatments Last?

Why Don't My Teeth Whitening Treatments Last?

If your teeth have lost their sparkle, you’re not alone. Teeth whitening treatments aren’t meant to last indefinitely. Professional whitening treatments may last anywhere from 6-12 months depending on your oral care routine, and there are a few reasons why they may fade even quicker. 

Continue reading as Dr. Lovely Manlapaz Teodoro and the team here at The Dental Center of Hercules share six reasons why your teeth whitening treatments don’t last: 

Dietary choices

Teeth are porous, and certain foods and beverages can contribute to staining over time. Consuming highly pigmented substances like coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored fruits can gradually diminish the effects of teeth whitening treatments. 

Many of these stain-inducing foods 一 berries, turmeric, tomatoes 一 are extremely nutritious, so you don’t need to pass them up. Instead, rinse your mouth with water after you eat any foods that stain teeth.

You may also find that drinking tea or iced coffee through a straw helps limit exposure between the drinks and your teeth.

Tobacco use

Smoking or using tobacco products is a major culprit when it comes to tooth discoloration. The tar and nicotine in tobacco can quickly undo the effects of teeth whitening. For long-lasting results, consider tobacco cessation. Quitting benefits your physical health, and having reduced tartar stains is just the cherry on top!

Inadequate at-home oral care

Poor brushing and flossing habits can lead to the accumulation of plaque and tartar 一 both of which can lead to discolored teeth. Tartar starts off as a yellowish color, but over time, it can become brown, green, or even black.


As you age, the outer layer of your tooth enamel tends to wear down and reveals the dentin beneath. Dentin is highly mineralized dental tissue and is naturally yellow in color. This natural aging process can impact the longevity of teeth whitening results when the dentin shows through more. While teeth whitening can address surface stains, it won’t prevent the natural aging of tooth enamel.

Ineffective whitening products

How well your teeth whiten (and how long it lasts) depends on the method and products used. Over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products may provide temporary results, but they don’t typically last as long. That’s because professional-grade products use stronger whitening agents, so they work more effectively and more efficiently. 

Underlying dental issues

Decay, enamel erosion, and intrinsic stains can also limit the success of a whitening treatment.  In some cases, such as if you have veneers or crowns, whitening treatments just won’t work 一 regardless of how strong the whitening agents are.

Instead, Dr. Teodoro may recommend other options for brightening your smile. For instance, if you have permanently stained teeth, you may benefit from veneers instead. These can brighten any teeth since they cover the front surface of your teeth.

How to make your teeth whitening treatments last

While there are some factors, such as aging, that are not within your control, there are a few steps you can take to maximize your whitening results:


If you’re ready to explore the possibilities of a professional teeth whitening treatment, call us at 510-254-3328. You can also book your next appointment by clicking here.

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