Dr. Shah: Hi Riya, welcome to ask the doctor. What is the question.
I’ve had a teeth whitening done, at another dental office in the past, but my teeth have turned yellow again and I was just wondering why this happened and how long does teeth whitening usually last and what can I do to keep my teeth whiter and prevent it from getting yellow fast after getting my teeth whitening?
Dr. Shah: Thank you for asking this question because lots of people are going to get guidance and help from this answer. Let’s talk about Bleaching. In my other questions, I did mention two types of bleaching, home bleaching and office bleaching and all those things, but bleaching is done on the tooth with the oxygen atoms from hydrogen peroxide. So these oxygen atoms will go into the porosity of the tooth and lift the pigments and make the teeth whiter. Now if you have a, one of the two reasons, two reasons why your teeth will get dark or yellow back again. Quickly One of them is if you have a tooth structure that’s very porous means you have a lot more pores. It’s not a dense tooth structure. Then the pigments from the food will go inside and will stick inside and make it look darker and the second reason is that your teeth will get darker after bleaching if you use pigmented food more frequently, more often and more in quantity than your teeth will get darker and especially. After the bleaching is done, if it’s a home bleaching, you don’t eat or drink anything which has color overnight. So do it in the evening and if it is an office bleaching, then you don’t do it for at least three to four days because your pores are very wide open and your tooth becomes very dry because of the bleaching and it becomes dry spawn.
So it’ll suck anything whether it’s pigmented, non-pigmented. That’s how your teeth get darker. So what is the solution? When you have bleaching done, you always do the maintenance because you’re never going to stop drinking tea, coffee, soda, or juice and eating the colored fruits and vegetables. All those things have pigments, and those pigments will be absorbed by teeth and it will get darker again. That’s why older people have darker teeth because they have more years of eating the food. That’s why they get darker. So, my suggestion to you is to have a good maintenance regimen. This maintenance will depend on the individual. If people have more porous teeth, they need to do more maintenance frequently and if you have a habit of consuming more pigmented drinks or eating more pigmented food then also you need to do your maintenance more frequently. That’s how you do the maintenance. So, the best way is, you take a shade, note down the shade, or maybe get the disposable shade guide from your dentist, and write down the date before taking shade. You write down the date after you get the desired shade. Once you get the desired shade, that shade tab should be your guideline. You keep checking your teeth with that shade guideline. If you keep getting a little bit darker, you don’t wait for it to get too darker and then do it one night which is a couple of hours of home bleaching. Then again and again you do the same thing. Now you note the days of how often you have done this and based on that you maintain your regimen/timetable. So, you do it every two or three weeks, Or you do everyone once a week. Once you do this maintenance, your teeth will remain whiter and there will not be any sensitivity or there will not be any harm to your teeth because what you’re getting is only oxygen to your teeth. Thank you.