How Long Does It Take To Whiten Your Teeth?

Posted on: June 15, 2017

Teeth WhiteningWhen patients consider a teeth whitening procedure, the first question they want to ask is, "how long does it take to whiten your teeth?" However, the answer largely depends on the condition of the teeth, why they are discolored in the first place, and the type of treatment of the patient wants. There are many different treatment options available for teeth whitening. We can set up a schedule for the patient depending on availability and how quickly the patient wants to whiten his or her teeth.

Most of the time, we can complete in-office teeth whitening within an hour or two. In some cases, the patient may need a follow-up treatment. It is also important for a patient to understand the process of whitening teeth and why a professional whitening is much more effective than at-home remedies.

The method

Teeth whitening involves the use of chemicals that penetrate the enamel of the teeth and work from the inside out to professionally bleach the teeth. Professional bleaching is the most usual method of whitening and the dental team will work with the patient to explain the process thoroughly. For a proper teeth whitening procedure, we need to apply an active ingredient. Thus, we apply the whitening product to the teeth using a specific tray that resembles a mouth guard.

In order to make sure that the tray specifically fits over a patient’s teeth,  an imprint of the patient’s teeth is necessary. We will also need to mold the tray to match all of the nuances of a patient’s particular set of teeth. This ensures that the whitening substance goes on all areas of the teeth for an equal whitening, without affecting the gums.

We then place a whitening substance of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide into the whitening tray and fit it over the teeth. The active ingredient then breaks down and delivers oxygen into the enamel of the teeth, lighting the tooth color.

How long does it take to whiten your teeth?

When it comes to teeth whitening, it is essential to understand that the amount of whitening necessary depends on the amount of stain on the teeth. Professional teeth whitening treatment typically takes three to four weeks.

First, the dental team needs to make the mouth guard using impressions to ensure that the teeth whitening solution goes on all the teeth. Once the treatment begins, typically from the comfort of home, it will involve regularly applying the whitening product over a space of two to four weeks. The amount of application can depend on the amount of stain. Mostly, these treatment sessions last for roughly 30 minutes to an hour at a time. The alternative to dentist-created whitening trays and solution is to visit the dental office for an in-office treatment. We can usually complete an in-office treatment in one or two visits and produce results within a matter of hours.

Over the counter and in home teeth-whitening kits tend to take at least a month of wearing mouthpieces every night before they start to have an effect. Additionally, over-the-counter products use mouthpieces that can get the solution on the gums, and not cover all the teeth.


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