How Long Should Free Teeth Whitening Last?

I got free teeth whitening when I started at a new dentist in February of this year. It was take-home whitening, but I thought it was probably a higher grade because I received custom whitening trays. I followed the instructions precisely for about two weeks. I was really happy with it at first because it looked like my teeth really were getting brighter. However, now when I look at them, they don’t look quite as bright. I’m really disappointed because I thought it should last much longer. It seems all too coincidental that the color seems changed back right before my next dental visit. Is there any chance they actually did something to it that would make it wear off so I need another dental appointment? Or could it be just a lower quality gel and that’s why the free whitening deal was offered? Curious indeed.



Dear Ali,

Before and after photos for information on free teeth whitening, from Plano TX dentist Miranday Lacy DDS.
Free teeth whitening should be dentist supervised to last

More than likely, the free whitening you receive was a professional-strength gel. While it’s true that most dentists only provide whitening if you return for your regular visits, it’s almost impossible to predict how bright your teeth will get and how long they’ll stay that way.

Your Teeth Will Stain Faster if You…

  • Drink coffee
  • Drink tea
  • Drink red wine
  • Smoke
  • Eat dark sauces (soy, tomato, curry, etc.)

Consuming these items in moderation probably won’t cause an issue, especially if you’re diligent with brushing. But if you consume them a lot, your teeth will stain faster.

You Can Minimize Staining By…

Avoiding acidic foods. Acid wears down your enamel, making it easier for your teeth to stain.

Brushing well. Brush after each meal or at least two to three times per day.

Not sipping beverages. Prolonged sipping on anything other than water isn’t good for your teeth. Coffee and tea drinkers will experience more teeth stains that those who don’t drink these beverages. Cola and even sports drinks are acidic and contain sugar. They feed bacteria, which leads to decay. If you drink anything other than water, finish it all at once to minimize contact and follow it by rinsing your mouth with water or brushing your teeth.

Drinking through straws. When you drink through a straw, the beverage won’t come into contact with the fronts of your teeth. It’s not a cure-all, but it can minimize the potential for staining.

Not smoking. Enough said.

You Can Make Your Teeth Look Whiter By…

Getting a tan or using a sunless tanner. No joke. The darker your skin is, the whiter your teeth will look.

Wearing red lipstick. Most red shades work well, but you’ll want to avoid dark hues because they tend to make teeth look yellow or brown. Nude shades can also be problematic, though pinks, berry colors, and those with purple undertones can make your teeth look whiter.

Keeping water with you. While water won’t magically whiten your teeth, you’ll be more likely to drink it, thus replacing other drinks and getting them off your teeth quicker when you do indulge.

Visiting your dentist regularly. A professional cleaning will remove buildup that can make teeth look dull, yellow, or brown.

Touch up with your free teeth whitening kit. Your teeth will eventually go back to their original darker shade, but how quickly it will happen depends on your habits and genetics. You don’t need to wait until they darken to their original color and do the full treatment again. Instead, just use your kit for a couple days at a time to revive your preferred shade.


This blog is sponsored by Dr. Miranda Lacy who has an inviting Plano free teeth whitening offer for patients.