Tooth bleaching is a popular method for whitening discolored teeth, and it can be done at home or by a dentist. It’s quite common for teeth to appear unevenly colored after the procedure. However, you need to take some steps if there is an extensive difference in color, or your teeth become more heavily stained over time.
Here are a few of reasons for uneven tooth color, and what you can do to tackle the problem:
- Often, the edges of a tooth respond to bleaching quicker than internal areas, since the bleach penetrates the enamel faster. The center of a tooth has a thicker layer of enamel than the edges, so internal tooth bleaching can take longer to show results.
- Some teeth may appear whiter than the rest, since each tooth responds differently to bleaching. The structure and composition of teeth affects the outcome of tooth bleaching, for instance, teeth with less calcium will get bleached a lot more quickly.
- If you are prone to extreme sensitivity in your teeth, get them professionally bleached by a dentist. This is especially important for internal tooth bleaching, since you need to keep the bleaching solution against your teeth for longer.
- Ask your dentist about cosmetic whitening solutions if you have had any restorative dentistry. Dental veneers, fillings, crowns and caps will not respond to bleaching, so they can appear discolored against your natural teeth when you bleach them.
- In most cases, the color will become more even over time. This typically takes anywhere from 3-10 days. Once your teeth have reached the whiteness level you want, stop bleaching them for a few days.
Extra Precautions to Prevent Uneven Tooth Color
- After tooth bleaching, you may need to take some extra precautions to prevent them from getting stained. Bleaching makes the surface of your teeth more porous, so they can get discolored easily if you consume coffee, red wine, cigarettes, etc.
- If you do eat or drink anything that can stain your teeth, try to avoid letting it come into contact with the tooth surface as much as possible. For instance, you can use a straw to drink coffee, and swish clean water around your mouth right after.
- If you’re bleaching your teeth at home, ask your dentist for a custom-fitted tray that allows the solution to properly coat every tooth. Avoid whitening strips, since they cannot cover the whole tooth and will cause splotchy results.
- Visit a dentist and follow their instructions before, during and after tooth bleaching. Continue with the procedure if your teeth are unevenly colored, to allow less responsive teeth and internal areas to reach the same whiteness as the rest.
- Bleaching is not a permanent solution for whiter teeth, since diet and lifestyle factors can cause your teeth to become discolored after a while. Make sure to bleach your pearly whites twice a year to help them retain their whiteness for longer!