What Will Your Teeth Look Like After Bleaching?

Read On To Get a Better Idea of How White You Can Go

Sometimes my teeth whitening patients will leave after a treatment, beaming because their teeth jumped 8 shades brighter in just one hour. Other times, the patient is initially disappointed, seeing only 1 or 2 shades difference in the first day or so. It’s not until 3 days later that they see the full effect of the treatment and call back to tell us about the miraculous 6 shade improvement. Some patients are ecstatic over a difference of just 1 shade – it all depends on the person and the desired results. The most important thing to keep in mind when seeking results from teeth whitening is that no two cases are identical.

Shade Guides

Tooth shade is measured using a handheld guide, which usually shows 16 shades ranging from brightest to darkest. When you come in for your free consultation, be sure to ask to see a shade guide so you can get a better idea of the change you will see in your own tooth color.

Types of Discoloration

Tooth stains can be either extrinsic or intrinsic, or both, depending on the cause of the discoloration. Extrinsic stains occur on the enamel due to food, beverages, and general wear and tear. They can be removed fairly easily with bleaching. Intrinsic stains form inside your teeth, and they are more resistant to whitening. Intrinsic stains are cause by trauma, aging, and minerals like tetracycline (a common antibiotic), or excessive fluoride ingestion.

These “tougher” stains usually require both in-office and take home whitening treatment, but they can be effectively eliminated or reduced.

Too White?

One widespread myth is that teeth whitening causes teeth to look unnaturally white. The truth is that your natural teeth will rarely look “unnaturally white.” Most patients using an in-office or take home whitening kit can expect to see a difference of 2 to 7 shades in their teeth whiteness. Bleaching only eliminates stains to reveal the natural whiteness of your tooth enamel.


When using take home whitening kits over a period of weeks, you should be aware that your tooth color will fade slightly within the first few days of stopping the treatment. This is natural, and should be kept in mind in case you are planning on getting veneers or crowns after whitening.

Touch Ups

Your teeth will naturally begin to re-stain after your whitening treatment. Most patients will notice a change in tooth shade about a year after their first whitening treatment if no touch up whitening is done. It is recommended that you touch up your teeth every 6-12 months to maintain a consistent brightness.

We will talk at length during your free consultation about the results you can expect to see, based on your dental history, current tooth shade, time allowance, and budget. After reading this newsletter you should have reasonable expectations regarding the results you personally can expect from the different types of teeth whitening.

If you’d like discover how teeth whitening can work for you, feel free to schedule an appointment by clicking here.

Next week we will talk about the cost and process for teeth whitening. You’ll learn about the details of the procedure, from start to finish, so you’ll feel comfortable with the entire process before you even step foot in the office.

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