20 October 2023

Do Teeth Turn Yellow Again After Whitening? 

Here in Australia, 22 per cent of surveyed 25,000 adults have whitened their teeth, according to 2017 data from the Australian Dental Association (pdf). 

It showed that teeth whitening is indeed a popular cosmetic dental procedure. However, many people wonder whether the effects of teeth whitening are permanent or if teeth can turn yellow again after the treatment. In this article, we’ll address this common concern and provide tips on how to keep your teeth white and bright. 

Do teeth turn yellow again after whitening? 

The answer to this question depends on various factors, including your habits, diet and oral hygiene. Teeth whitening treatments, whether done professionally by a dentist or at home with over-the-counter products, can effectively remove stains and lighten the colour of your teeth. However, the longevity of the results is uncertain. 

Over time, teeth can become discoloured again due to several reasons: 

  • Diet. Consuming foods and beverages that are known to stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, red wine and dark berries, can gradually lead to discoloration. 
  • Tobacco use. Smoking or using tobacco products can cause teeth to yellow and stain more quickly. 
  • Poor oral hygiene. Inadequate brushing and flossing can allow plaque and tartar to build up on the teeth, leading to surface stains and discoloration. 
  • Aging. As you age, the enamel on your teeth naturally thins, which can expose the yellowish dentin layer beneath. 
  • Genetics. Some people may be genetically predisposed to have teeth that are naturally more yellowish. 

Tips to maintain a bright smile 

While teeth whitening treatments can provide dramatic results, it’s essential to take steps to maintain your brighter smile: 

Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. Good oral hygiene helps prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can contribute to discoloration. 

Use whitening toothpaste. Consider using a toothpaste that is specifically designed to help maintain teeth whitening results. These toothpaste products often contain mild abrasives and whitening agents to help keep stains at bay. 

Limit stain-causing foods and drinks. Reduce your consumption of foods and beverages that can stain teeth or use a straw to minimise contact with your teeth. Additionally, rinse your mouth with water after consuming staining substances. 

Quit smoking. If you smoke or use tobacco products, quitting can significantly improve the colour of your teeth and your overall oral health. 

Regular dental check-ups. Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and professional cleanings. Dental cleanings can remove surface stains and ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy. 

Touch-up treatments. Consider periodic touch-up teeth whitening treatments to refresh and maintain the brightness of your smile. Consult with your dentist to determine the most appropriate schedule for touch-up treatments. 

Maintaining a beautiful bright smile 

While teeth whitening treatments can produce stunning results, teeth can gradually turn yellow again over time due to various factors. However, by adopting good oral hygiene practices, being mindful of your diet and making lifestyle changes, you can significantly prolong the effects of teeth whitening and keep your smile white and bright. Regular dental care and professional guidance from your dentist can also play a vital role in maintaining your beautiful smile for years to come.