7 Key Factors That Affect Your Teeth Whitening Results
A beautiful smile enhances confidence.
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.