Why do my teeth look more yellow after whitening strips?

Answered by Jason Smith

The yellow sign after using whitening strips is actually a temporary effect that occurs due to the increased porosity of your tooth enamel. When you use teeth whitening strips, the peroxide in them breaks down into oxygen molecules. These oxygen molecules then penetrate the enamel of your teeth and reach the discolored molecules that are causing the yellow or stained appearance.

However, during this process, the peroxide also temporarily increases the porosity of your enamel. This means that your enamel becomes more porous, allowing the oxygen molecules to reach the discolored molecules more easily. But, this increased porosity also allows other substances, such as pigments from food and drinks, to enter the enamel more easily.

So, after using whitening strips, your teeth may appear more yellow temporarily because the increased porosity of your enamel allows the underlying dentin, which is naturally yellow in color, to show through more prominently. This is especially true if you have thin enamel or if your dentin is naturally more yellow.

It’s important to note that this yellow appearance is usually temporary and should fade over time as your enamel remineralizes and becomes less porous again. In most cases, it takes a few days to a week for the yellow appearance to fade completely.

To minimize the yellow appearance after using whitening strips, it’s recommended to avoid consuming highly pigmented foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries, during the whitening process and for a few days afterward. Additionally, maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing regularly, can help remove any surface stains and prevent further discoloration.

It’s also worth mentioning that everyone’s teeth and enamel are different, so the results and the temporary yellow appearance may vary from person to person. If you have any concerns or if the yellow appearance persists for an extended period, it’s always best to consult with your dentist for further evaluation and guidance.

The yellow sign after using whitening strips is a temporary effect caused by the increased porosity of your tooth enamel, allowing the underlying dentin to show through. This yellow appearance should fade over time as your enamel remineralizes, and maintaining good oral hygiene practices can help minimize further discoloration.