7 Key Factors That Affect Your Teeth Whitening Results - Staley Dental (2024)

And tooth discoloration can get in the way of that confidence. Thankfully, there are many teeth whitening options these days to help with that.

Different things, ranging from decay, staining, and medication, can cause tooth discoloration; different kinds of tooth discoloration respond differently to treatment. Due to these factors, teeth whitening isn’t the same for everyone.

Here are 7 factors to take into account if you’re considering whitening your teeth.

1. The Type of Discoloration

We can group tooth stains into two categories: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration involves stains on the outside of the teeth. We are talking about stains from things such as red wine, cola, food dyes, tea, and smoking. Intrinsic discoloration stems from something internal, such as infection, illness, medication, or trauma.

Generally, extrinsic stains are a lot easier to treat than intrinsic stains. Whitening treatments may be able to reverse years of extrinsic discoloration, whereas intrinsic stains won’t respond nearly as well to the same kinds of treatments.

2. The Original Color of Your Teeth

Teeth whitening treatments tend to work well if your teeth have yellow undertones. If your teeth naturally have more of a grayish or brownish tint to them, you may need more extensive whitening treatment.

3. The Type of Teeth Whitening Treatment

Over-the-counter methods are popular and generally safe. Whitening strips only whiten the front teeth. If you have crowns on your back teeth, this might be a good thing to try out. Toothpastes and rinses are among your least expensive options. However, be leery of any over-the-counter product claiming “immediate results.”

These products are less effective than in office treatments, and they might not produce the desired result, especially when heavy stains or crooked teeth are involved. It’s always a good idea to consult with your dentist before beginning any teeth bleaching process, as they can help you choose the right product for your specific smile goals.

Professional bleaching is considered the safest, most effective whitening method and produces the fastest results. At Staley Dental, we offer custom whitening trays. Trays are designed to fit over your teeth and hold the bleaching gel snugly against the teeth. You will receive your trays within two appointments and will see results within just a few short weeks of wearing your tray as directed by your dentist.

4. The Condition of Your Teeth

Crown and veneer material won’t be affected by bleaching agents. Only natural teeth can be whitened. To avoid a mixture of shades in your smile, the goal is to get your natural teeth the same color as your existing crowns or veneers. Since this complicates the bleaching process, you should contact your dentist about teeth whitening if you have crowns or veneers.

As mentioned earlier, some stains are extrinsic and easier to treat than intrinsic stains. Other times, enamel erosion, a condition in which your enamel begins to wear away and the dentin becomes more visible, is what causes a yellow appearance. You need a dentist to diagnose and treat this condition. Staining, cracks, chips, and severe sensitivity can all be signs of enamel erosion.

5. Your Age

Some teeth whitening treatments are not suitable for kids. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends waiting until kids have all their permanent teeth as well as consulting their dentist before performing teeth bleaching. Although most whitening products are relatively safe, parents need to monitor their adolescents’ use of over-the-counter teeth whitening products. Overuse can have harmful oral effects, including increased sensitivity.

6. The Duration of Your Teeth Whitening Treatment

If you’re using whitening trays, for example, expect better results if you wear your trays overnight versus a couple times per day (always clear this option with your dentist first). If you’re using an over-the-counter product, it may take longer to see results, so the amount of time you stick with the product has a direct relationship to the outcome of the process.

7. Your Oral Routine and Lifestyle

While some staining and discoloration can’t be avoided, some can. If you continue smoking or drinking dark drinks, for example, your teeth will easily return to their previous color. No whitening treatment is permanent, no matter how good, and if you’d like to maintain optimal brightness, you might consider follow-up whitening appointments every few years or periodic re-bleaching using your custom trays.

We’re here to give you the bright, white smile you deserve.

If you’re curious about whitening your teeth and want to learn more about what that process will look like for you, reach out to us. At Staley Dental, we’re here for you each step of the way. You can give us a call or request an evaluation using our online form.

7 Key Factors That Affect Your Teeth Whitening Results - Staley Dental (2024)


What affects teeth whitening? ›

Your Oral Health. Your oral health will play a huge role in how effective, or even possible, a teeth whitening procedure is. If you have cavities or plaque build up, your teeth won't whiten as well as those that are free of deposits.

Why won't my teeth stay white after whitening? ›

Drink lots of water

Water is always best, but it's especially important after whitening to stick to clear liquids only for a few days while the pores in your enamel reseal the barrier. Otherwise, stains can re-enter the dentin layer very easily and undo all the work the whitening treatment just did.

Why do teeth whitening results vary? ›

Often, we find that patients who have teeth with a yellowish hue respond better to the procedure compared to those with brownish or gray hues. The brownish hue is caused by overexposure to fluoride, while the grayish hue is usually a result of taking antibiotics such as tetracycline.

Why do my teeth get yellow so fast after whitening? ›

Teeth can become temporarily dehydrated after using whitening strips. Your teeth may appear more yellow as a result of this dehydration because the enamel may become dry and lack moisture. Dehydrated enamel sometimes has a transparent appearance that makes the naturally yellowish dentin underneath visible.

Why can't some teeth be whitened? ›

Teeth that have yellowed with age

As we age, the enamel becomes thinner due to wear and tear, revealing the underlying layer of tooth structure called dentin. Dentin is naturally yellowish and cannot be lightened with teeth whitening products.

Can yellow teeth become white again? ›

What Can Be Done to Whiten Yellow Teeth? If you're looking for a radical change in the coloring of your teeth, you need professional-grade whitening to get the job done. Your cosmetic dentist can provide treatment that penetrates deep into the enamel and removes years of stains with a powerful bleaching agent.

Which teeth whitening option provides the fastest results? ›

laser teeth whitening is the safest, quickest, and most effective option among the types of teeth-whitening treatments available. However, there are ultimately several ways to whiten teeth, and the most suitable option will depend on your timeline, budget, and priorities, as well as the nature of the discoloration.

Why are my teeth more stained after whitening? ›

[6] There may be a loss of organic components from bleached enamel and dentin surfaces. Changes in the microstructure of teeth may be partly due to the loss or denaturing of protein,[7] and these alterations may facilitate the recurrence of extrinsic staining.

Do some teeth not respond to whitening? ›

The fact is, not all teeth respond to whitening. Furthermore, it is important to understand what whitening products you use can really make all the difference. Let's consider certain things that might keep your teeth whitening treatment from working.

How to whiten teeth over 60? ›

Swap your regular toothpaste for whitening toothpaste, and you can notice your teeth gradually lighten with prolonged use. Whitening toothpaste typically contains a low-concentrated bleach solution. This helps minimize the appearance of stains on your smile.

What to drink instead of coffee when whitening teeth? ›

White tea, yerba mate, and rooibos are great coffee alternatives that won't stain your teeth. White tea comes from the same plant as green tea, but is minimally processed to preserve its health benefits.

Why are my teeth darker after whitening? ›

If teeth are overexposed to the hydrogen peroxide agent in whitening gel, the outer layers of enamel may begin to wear away, exposing the dentin and soft inner tissues. This results in lasting sensitivity and discoloration, as dentin is a naturally darker color than enamel.

How long does it take teeth to rehydrate after whitening? ›

Rehydrating Teeth After Whitening

After your procedure, your teeth will naturally rehydrate themselves in two to seven days. However, there are things you can do to help your teeth during this time. Drink plenty of water – water naturally hydrates every part of your body, including your teeth.

How long do your teeth continue to whiten after treatment? ›

Keep in mind that the solution will continue to whiten up to 48 hours after the last application. This process will also require maintenance from time to time at your discretion.

Who shouldn't get teeth whitening on? ›

Pregnant and lactating women. People who have restorations such as fillings, implants, crowns and dental bridges. Children under 16 years of age. Patients with periodontal disease, tooth decay, cavities and exposed roots.

Are your teeth more susceptible to staining after whitening? ›

During the teeth whitening procedure, your tooth enamel is slightly weakened due to the bleach. Beverages and food with high acidic content, such as citrus fruit, pickled food, and processed meats, can further weaken your enamel. This can lead to even more sensitivity and increased risk of re-staining.

When is the best time to whiten your teeth? ›

The pores in your teeth are slightly more open and can more easily allow stains in. Smile Brilliant and dentist professionals recommend whitening before bed as it reduces the opportunity for staining and gives your teeth the night to begin rehydrating and remineralizing.

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