How Teeth Whitening Can Affect Your Teeth

Teeth whitening involves lightening chromogens (color-producing compounds) that have become accumulated on the teeth. This can be accomplished by cleansers or bleaching products that contain oxidizing agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

Your dental team will take impressions of your mouth to fabricate custom trays for the whitening product at your first visit. You will be asked to keep your teeth and gums as clean as possible while the product is in use.

Tooth stains

Many people struggle with teeth stains and are seeking treatment options to restore their smiles. A number of treatment methods can remove most stains, but they may not completely eliminate them. This is particularly true for stains that have developed below the hard, white outer layer of your teeth (enamel). For example, coffee, tea and red wine can cause stains because they contain pigmented chromogens that attach to the softer, yellower dentin underneath.

These are known as extrinsic stains. These are typically easier to remove than intrinsic stains. You can help prevent stains by drinking your beverages through a straw and rinsing with water afterward. You should also limit your intake of foods that are likely to stain.

If you do have stains that are not removed with regular dental cleanings, you can try whitening products. These are available over-the-counter and in-office. They contain abrasives and detergents to clean the surface of your teeth; bleaches to react with the chromogens and lighten the color; or a combination of both. More serious stains may require professional whitening treatments.


Smoking can dramatically undermine the results of a professional teeth whitening Huntsville AL session. The tar and nicotine in cigarettes bombard porous tooth enamel, leaving behind stubborn, surface-staining stains. While stains like coffee, tea and red wine latch onto the white outer shell of enamel, nicotine and tar infiltrate deeper layers of softer dentin. These stains can remain for months after a whitening treatment, significantly undermining the brightening effects of a whitening procedure.

Additionally, cigarette smoke overwhelms saliva’s natural defenses, leaving teeth vulnerable to staining agents. The chemicals in cigarette smoke also change the composition of plaque, turning it into a more adhesive and staining-prone substance. This ongoing affliction further diminishes the brightness of post-whitening smiles. Maintaining a rigorous oral hygiene routine, which includes brushing twice daily, flossing and using mouthwash, is the best way to ensure that teeth look their best. In addition, a routine dental cleaning and checkup every six months will help to minimize the appearance of stains and keep teeth healthy.


The foods and drinks you eat and drink have a major impact on the brightness of your smile. You can help keep your teeth white by avoiding staining culprits and replacing them with tooth-friendly options. A diet that is rich in fibre-rich fruits and vegetables promotes saliva production – nature’s washing agent – which can help rinse away debris and reduce stains.

Avoid dark coloured drinks such as tea, coffee and red wine. You can replace them with clear beverages, such as water or sparkling water. A straw can also help minimise the contact of these dark drinks with the surface of your teeth.

Eat crunchy fruit and vegetables such as apples, berries and carrots. They act as natural abrasives to remove surface stains and stimulate saliva production, which helps prevent discoloration and promotes healthy gums. Dairy products are a great source of calcium, which can strengthen teeth and reduce discoloration. Milk, cheese and yogurt are all low in pigmentation.


Teeth whitening affects teeth of all ages. However, younger children may experience more side effects from a bleaching treatment. Their enamel hasn’t yet fully formed and is more prone to demineralization. It is best to wait until they have grown all of their permanent teeth before undergoing any whitening procedures.

Studies show that people of all ages appreciate whiter teeth. While whitening is not permanent, regular brushing and flossing can help maintain a whiter smile. It is also important to avoid consuming staining foods and drinks after a whitening treatment.

Regardless of age, the results from a whitening treatment should last for about three years, unless the patient is consuming food and drink that causes new stains to form. The best way to prevent stains is to visit the dentist for regular cleanings and limit the consumption of staining substances like coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored fruits and vegetables. Using a sensitivity toothpaste can also help relieve any discomfort caused by teeth whitening Huntsville AL.

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