Why Are Your Teeth Still Yellow After Whitening? (9+ Proven Precautions)

In this brief article we will learn about the “teeth still yellow after whitening” procedure. We will also learn about the reasons for yellowing of teeth and how it can be prevented.

Teeth Still Yellow After Whitening

Everyone wishes for a pleasing and attractive smile. Teeth make an important part of that aesthetic smile that we all want. Yellow teeth are disliked by many and they may also lead to a low self esteem and make people conscious of their smiles. 

Teeth whitening or teeth bleaching is a procedure that many opt for to make the yellow colour of the teeth go away and achieve sparkling white teeth, just like our Hollywood celebrities. However, it is important to realise that every person’s teeth are different. The results of teeth whitening will be different in every  person. 

The kind of results that you are expecting from the whitening procedure, may always not be achievable. In many cases teeth might still appear a little yellowish even after whitening and in other cases, if post whitening instructions are not followed well, the teeth can again take up stains and appear yellow.

Why Do Teeth Become Yellow?

Not everybody has sparkling white teeth. Each person’s teeth may vary slightly in colour and there are various reasons  for this. Movie stars that have pearly white teeth do not have them naturally. They get their teeth whitened by some specific dental cosmetic procedures. 

Our teeth are made of different layers, where each layer is different from the other and serves a unique purpose. The outermost layer is the enamel, then comes the dentine and then the pulp chamber. Another layer known as the cementum covers the roots of our teeth only. Enamel, which is the first layer, is the protective layer of the tooth that also erodes with age and improper brushing.

Once this outermost layer of enamel is lost, the teeth start experiencing sensitivity and they also start becoming yellow. Dentine, the second layer of teeth is slightly yellow in colour and takes up stains very quickly. With the loss of enamel, the dentin gets exposed and the tooth starts looking yellow, as dentine’s own colour is yellow and also because it gets discoloured due to reasons like smoking.

What Causes Yellowing Of Teeth?

Now that we have understood why teeth become yellow, let us look at the things that can make the enamel wear off from our teeth and also, the reasons that make the exposed dentine become even more yellow.

The prime reason for wearing off of enamel is improper brushing. When we brush our teeth vigorously, with a hard bristled brush, it can lead to loss of enamel. It is a common misconception that if we brush our teeth with force and use a hard bristled brush, it is going to clean our teeth better. What we do not realise is that this vigorous brushing technique harms our teeth immensely in the long run.

Loss of enamel with age is also common. Just like the other parts of our body, our teeth age too. We lose enamel as we age. This is why many older people have yellow teeth and sometimes also complain of their teeth getting shorter in height.

Once we lose enamel and the dentin is exposed, our teeth display a slight yellowish tinge. It is at this tage that if we are not careful in maintaining our oral health, our teeth can become yellower and yellower. The most common reasons for the dentine on our teeth taking up yellow stains are:

  • Drinking too much coffee.
  • Drinking too much tea.
  • Drinking red wine in excess.
  • Drinking other teeth-staining beverages.
  • Drinking acidic beverages.
  • Drinking colas.
  • Holding food and drinks in your mouth for long.
  • Not drinking enough water.
  • Smoking.
  • Eating foods rich in turmeric and other staining ingredients.
  • Not brushing and flossing regularly.

Now, if you are thinking that white wine will be a good alternative to red wine, hold your horses. Many white wines are also acidic in nature, with a pH that can lead to yellowing of teeth even further. Carbonate soft drinks, sports drinks and other sweetened drinks are a big culprit in making our teeth yellow. It is best to consume all these drinks and foods in moderation if you wish to prevent yellowing of your teeth.

What Can Be Done To Make Yellow Teeth White?

If your teeth have become yellow and you are struggling with them, there are many options available for you which can help you to get your teeth whitened. All these options are dental procedures which require a lot of precision and can only be done by a qualified dentist. 

The first procedure that will make your teeth white is teeth bleaching. Bleaching of the teeth can be done in office, at a dentist’s clinic and secondly, it can also be done at home. During in office bleaching, your dentist will first and foremost apply a protective emollient like petrolatum gel on to your gum and they will then apply a bleaching agent on to your teeth, which will be removed after a couple of minutes or more, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. Your dentist might ask you to get your teeth cleaned prior to the bleaching appointment.

Similarly, at home bleaching can also be done and this procedure will be done by you. Your dentist will give you an at home bleaching kit which can have whitening strips or trays onto which the whitening agent is to be put and then the trays are to be put on the teeth. There are several over the counter teeth whitening kits available in the market as well which can be used safely.

However, it is always best to consult with a dentist and do these procedures under the supervision of your dentist, even if you are going to use an over the counter bleaching kit. This way any unwanted happenings can be avoided and the best results will be achieved.

The other option for getting whit teeth is veneers. Veneers or dental laminates are one of the most common and in demand dental procedures nowadays. They are one of the safest options for getting rid of yellow teeth. Veneers are like a cap for your teeth which will cover the front of sometimes the entire tooth and it is permanently posted on the teeth. Read this article to know about dental veneers in detail.

Why Are Teeth Still Yellow After Whitening?

As mentioned above, yellowing of teeth can be a sign of thin enamel or erosion of enamel. Once the enamel is lost and dentine is exposed, your teeth become more prone to yellowing. When using bleaching kits for teeth whitening, the acidic substances in these kits make your already thin enamel even more porous. This can make the teeth more prone to yellowing.

However, this does not mean that bleaching should not be opted for. Your dentist will examine your teeth and decide whether bleaching is a safe option for you or not. As long as this procedure is done under the supervision of a dentist, such side effects can be avoided.

In addition to this, as the enamel becomes more porous, it is extremely essential to take all post bleaching precautions. The most common reason for teeth becoming yellow even after bleaching is not following the precautionary methods. If you do not avoid all the foods and beverages mentioned above after teeth whitening, chances are that your teeth will become yellow again.

Drinking coffee, tea, especially black tea and red wine, and smoking are the main reasons for teeth becoming even more yellow after whitening. It is important to be careful otherwise your teeth can take up excessive stains and this can be an irreversible discoloration.

Not maintaining proper oral hygiene and drinking colas in excess can make your whitening teeth yellow again. Therefore, if you have got your teeth whitening or are planning to get them whitened, discuss these details with your dentists and follow are precautionary measures.

What Are The Precautions To Prevent Teeth From Becoming Yellow After Whitening?

  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not chew tobacco.
  • Do not use hookah or any form or tobacco.
  • Do not drink excessive coffee and tea.
  • Do not drink acidic beverages.
  • Take alcohol in moderation.
  • Avoid foods with staining ingredients.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene.
  • Rinse your mouth after eating or drinking anything.

Frequently Asked Questions (Teeth Yellow After Whitening)

Do yellow teeth mean unhealthy teeth?

Not always. Some people naturally have yellow teeth. However, if your teeth have started turning yellow and they were not yellow earlier, this usually is an indication of an underlying problem. Thinning of enamel is the main reason for yellowing of teeth, especially associated with aging.

Are yellow teeth permanent?

Most of the time if the teeth have taken up yellowish discolouration, it may be permanent. Yellowing of teeth due to plaque and tartar deposition is temporary and will go away after cleaning and maintaining proper oral hygiene. The permanent yellowing of teeth can also be corrected by a dentist using procedures such as teeth bleaching.

Will brushing make my teeth whiter?

Brushing is meant to keep your teeth and mouth clean, fresh and free of disease causing microorganisms. No amount of brushing will make teeth white again. White colour of teeth can only be achieved with specific dental procedures.

Does enamel grow back?

No, enamel can not grow back. Enamel is the hardest structure in the human body and it is a dead structure, meaning that it has no active blood supply. Once lost, enamel can not be regained on the teeth.

Is it better to brush teeth before or after breakfast?

As per the American Dental Association, the best time to brush your teeth in the morning is at least sixty minutes after eating food, especially if you have consumed acidic foods and drinks. Some dentists even recommend waiting for thirty minutes after having breakfast before brushing teeth.


Having yellow teeth can be a traumatising experience, especially in the younger population. With teeth whitening procedures and procedures like dental laminates, it is easily possible to get rid of yellow teeth. However, if the teeth are not looked after well post teeth whitening procedures, the teeth can again become yellow and can look worse than before. Therefore, it is important to be responsible towards your teeth, especially if you have opted for teeth whitening.



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