Understanding Why Tooth Whitening Does Not Last Forever

If you want to invest in dental whitening, then you should know that a successful treatment will not last forever. Typically, you will need to invest in a series of treatments about every three years or so. If this is disappointing to you, then you may be wondering why the treatment does not last forever. Keep reading to learn why.

Whitening Does Not Change The Tone Of The Enamel

You may think that whitening gels actually whiten the dental enamel. However, this is not the case. Whitening gels do not bleach or change the tone of the dental enamel in any way. Tooth enamel is actually a non-porous material that is incapable of holding onto staining agents. This means that the enamel is not actually stained. What you are looking at when inspecting your yellow or brown teeth are the stains that have worked into the enamel cracks.

Enamel cracks are caused by bite stress and demineralization. While you cannot see the cracks with the naked eye, your teeth do contain the openings if stains are present. As the whitening gels push out the stains, the cracks remain. Over time, food and coloring agents slowly fill in the voids and make the teeth appear stained once again. Another whitening will be needed once this happens. However, if you are diligent about brushing and flossing, then you can keep staining at bay for some time.

Dentin Is Yellow

Many cosmetic and general dentists who offer tooth whitening treatments will also provide fluoride gels, varnishes, and rinses at the end of the treatment. These treatments help to strengthen and remineralize the teeth. This can assist with several things. It can reduce the sensitivity of the teeth after the whitening and it can also keep new cracks from developing in the enamel.

Enamel strengthening specifically helps to keep the tooth dentin that sits underneath the enamel from showing through. Dentin is a yellow tone and its basic appearance can make the teeth look stained. While fluoride treatments can help to strengthen enamel, your teeth will appear more yellow as the teeth age and the enamel thins and cracks. It may take years for the dentin to show through, but it will happen at some point, and it will appear as though the whitening has worn off.

If your teeth cannot be successfully whitened, then your dentist may suggest veneers. The exposure of the dentin and its yellow appearance are why this suggestion is made. Contact a cosmetic dentistry service for more information and assistance.