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Is Teeth Whitening Permanent? Guide To Permanent Teeth Whitening

Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Sharad Pandhi
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Are you striving for pearly white teeth by permanent teeth whitening? Before trying to do this on your own, you need to know the truth about permanent white teeth. The short answer, unfortunately, is that no whitening treatment is permanent.

In this article we will answer the following questions:

  • Is teeth whitening permanent?
  • What causes teeth to turn yellow?
  • What are some permanent teeth whitening options?
  • What foods stain teeth?
  • How can veneers help yellow teeth?
  • How can I maintain good oral health?

By answering these questions, wants to ensure you know all the facts about permanent teeth whitening.

What causes teeth to turn yellow?

Our teeth aren't intended to be bright white. The enamel of our teeth is a blueish-white tint, but due to its translucency, the yellow color of the dentin beneath can be seen. Because the enamel on our teeth thins as we age, it's natural for teeth to darken or yellow over time.

How does teeth whitening work?

The whitening agent is usually carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide-based and penetrates the enamel to reach the discolored molecules inside your tooth. Oxygen molecules from the whitening agent react with the discolored molecules in your teeth, breaking the bonds that hold them together.

This means that teeth whitening isn't necessarily permanent, but you can keep up with your dental hygiene and try out the following whitening methods. When done correctly, it is a safe process for adults and teens.

What are some permanent teeth whitening options?

You cannot permanently whiten teeth. However, you can make some lifestyle and dietary changes that will keep your smile brighter for longer. You can also do semi-annual whitening treatments.

how to get permanent white teeth
Is teeth whitening permanent?

Avoid foods that stain

  • Berries and fruits: Although the antioxidants in berries provide health benefits, their deep hue can cause staining. Fruits like lemons are also bad for your teeth due to their acidity.
  • Sauces: Brightly colored sauces like curries and tomato sauce can also contribute to staining, and the acidity of tomatoes makes them a double culprit. Opt for a lighter, creamy version to lessen the chances of tooth staining.
  • Coffee: The dark color and acidity of coffee both have a detrimental effect on your teeth.
  • Tea: Black tea, in particular, can be more damaging than coffee. Even lighter herbal teas can erode enamel and cause staining.
  • Wine: The tannins in red wine are responsible for turning teeth a shade of grey. White wine, meanwhile, although not directly responsible for staining, can make existing stains darker.
  • Sugary drinks: It's well known that sugary soft drinks cause tooth decay, but because they do this by wearing away that bright tooth enamel, your teeth will appear darker over time, too.
  • Smoking: The nicotine and tar in tobacco can stain teeth very quickly. Over the years, heavy smokers may find their teeth turning brown, known as smokers' teeth.

Touch up whitening treatments

Touch up whitening treatments every 3-6 months to maintain pearly white teeth. 

There are many tried and tested ways to whiten teeth or get rid of white spots on teeth these days, including:

permanent teeth whitening treatment
There are various teeth whitening methods to choose from.
  • Strips
  • Trays
  • Bleach
  • Lasers
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Coconut oil
  • Gels

You can read more about these options and others through our designated articles. 

Veneers for yellow teeth

If your teeth are not just discolored but also crooked or chipped, you may want to kill two birds with one stone by getting veneers. These thin shells are placed directly onto your existing teeth. They can be made to match your natural teeth if you just need one or two, or you can transform your smile with veneers across all your visible teeth.

Maintain good oral hygiene

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day. How to make teeth whiter in 3 minutes, twice a day, is simply by brushing your teeth. The most important time to brush your teeth is at night. Don't skip this one! 
  • Cleaning between your teeth once a day with floss or a waterpik.
  • Visit the dentist twice a year for regular dental cleanings.


Is teeth whitening permanent? No, but now you know how to maintain the pearly whites you desire!


Is laser teeth whitening permanent?

No. Laser teeth whitening is typically the most expensive form of teeth whitening available. Repeating treatments every 3-6 months can help keep your teeth whiter.

Is teeth whitening pen permanent?

No, and it won't last forever. At-home products may give minimal-to-great results that last for a few months. Professional dental procedures may extend that time up to 2-3 years.

Is professional teeth whitening permanent?

Unfortunately, teeth whitening is not permanent. The length of your results will depend on your unique case, but typically teeth whitening can last anywhere from a few months to 3 years.

Is teeth whitening permanent if you always maintain it with toothpaste?

Not necessarily. You cannot always maintain it with toothpaste alone. You need to floss and visit the dentist twice a year for dental cleanings to help. You may also need touch-up whitening.

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WebMD: Teeth Whitening. Consulted December 30th, 2021.

National Center for Biotechnology Information:  Tooth Whitening: What We Now Know. Consulted December 30th, 2021. Whitening. Consulted December 30th, 2021.