Teeth Still Yellow After Whitening

Written by Dr. Brian Harris

January 31, 2024

Have you ever wondered, Why are my teeth still yellow after whitening? The answer lies in a few key factors. Whitening strips, a popular over-the-counter dentistry product, use peroxide-based chemicals to remove surface stains.

However, they may not always be effective against deep-seated stains or intrinsic discoloration. Additionally, the initial sensitivity and redness caused by these strips can create a visual contrast, making teeth appear more yellow.

Dehydrated teeth after whitening and uneven application of the strips can also contribute to this yellowish appearance. It's important to understand these nuances to set realistic expectations and explore other professional whitening options if necessary.

What this article covers:

Why Are My Teeth Still Yellow After Whitening?

At SNOW, we often encounter customers puzzled by the persistence of yellow tones in their teeth even after teeth whitening. Understanding the underlying causes is key to addressing this issue effectively.

Let's explore the main factors contributing to this common concern.

teeth yellow after whitening


Genetics significantly influence the natural color of your teeth. Just as your genes determine your hair or eye color, they also play a role in the shade of your teeth. Some individuals are born with teeth that have a more yellowish hue, which can be less responsive to whitening treatments.

This genetic predisposition means that even the most effective whitening methods might not achieve the bright white shade some people desire. It's important to have realistic expectations and understand that tooth color varies naturally from person to person.


Your lifestyle choices, particularly your diet, have a direct impact on the color of your teeth. Foods and drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine are notorious for causing stains. These substances contain tannins, which bind to the enamel and lead to discoloration over time.

Even with diligent whitening efforts, these stains can be stubborn. To improve your whitening results, it's crucial to identify and modify these habits. Reducing the consumption of such stain-causing foods and drinks, or brushing your teeth soon after consuming them, can help maintain the whiteness of your teeth.

why do my teeth look yellow after whitening

Damaged Enamel

Enamel erosion is another significant factor that can affect the color of your teeth. Enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth, protects the softer, yellowish dentin underneath.

When enamel wears down due to factors like acidic foods, over-brushing, or certain medications, it can expose more of the dentin, making your teeth appear yellower.

According to WebMD, enamel erosion can also increase sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks, as these can reach the nerves inside your teeth through holes in the enamel. Unlike other tissues in the body, once enamel is damaged, it cannot be naturally repaired, making prevention and proper care crucial.

Burned lips from teeth whitening can also occur if the whitening product is not used correctly or if the lips are not properly protected during the treatment.

Teeth whitening can significantly improve the appearance of your teeth; factors like genetics, staining habits, and enamel health play a pivotal role in the final outcome.

At SNOW, we recommend a holistic approach to oral care, focusing not only on whitening but also on maintaining the overall health of your teeth and gums.

How to Prevent Yellow Teeth After Whitening

Maintaining the brightness of your teeth after a whitening treatment involves a combination of dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, and diligent oral hygiene.

At SNOW, we emphasize the importance of these steps to ensure long-lasting results from our whitening products.

Avoid Staining Foods And Drinks Such As Coffee Or Wine

To preserve the whiteness of your teeth post-whitening, it's crucial to limit the intake of foods and drinks that can cause staining. Coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored sodas are known culprits.

If avoiding them entirely isn't feasible, consider using a straw to bypass your teeth or brush immediately after consumption. This minimizes the contact these staining agents have with your teeth, helping to maintain your whitening results.

Mouthwash for stained teeth can also be an effective way to help remove surface stains and maintain the whiteness of your teeth after a whitening treatment.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is a significant contributor to teeth discoloration. The tar and nicotine in cigarettes not only affect your overall health but also lead to the yellowing of teeth. Quitting smoking can halt further discoloration and enhance the effectiveness of your whitening treatments.

According to the American Dental Association, quitting smoking improves oral health and reduces the risk of gum disease, another contributor to tooth discoloration.

Vitamins for whiter teeth can also play a role in maintaining the health and appearance of your teeth. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin C, are important for gum health and can help keep your teeth looking their best. 

why do my teeth look more yellow after whitening

Maintain Healthy Dental Hygiene Habits

Effective oral hygiene is key to preventing yellowing. Regular brushing and flossing remove plaque, a major cause of discoloration. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for gentle yet effective cleaning.

This helps in maintaining the integrity of your enamel while keeping your teeth clean and white.

Teeth whitening after deep cleaning can often produce better results, as the teeth are free of plaque and tartar, allowing the whitening product to work more effectively.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Hydration plays a vital role in oral health. Drinking plenty of water helps rinse away food particles and staining substances, reducing the risk of discoloration.

Water also promotes saliva production, which naturally cleanses the teeth and neutralizes harmful acids in the mouth.

Before teeth whitening, it's important to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy. Any issues, such as cavities or gum disease, should be addressed before undergoing a whitening treatment.

Keep Up With Regular Dental Cleanings

Regular dental cleanings are essential for removing tartar and plaque, which contribute to yellowing. Professional cleanings by a dentist or hygienist not only maintain the whiteness of your teeth but also help identify and address any underlying oral health issues that could contribute to discoloration.

Having white teeth for wedding season or any special occasion can be achieved with the right whitening treatment and proper oral care. Planning ahead and consulting with a dental professional can ensure that your smile is bright and beautiful for your big day.

By following these steps, you can significantly extend the life of your whitening results and enjoy a brighter, healthier smile for longer.

Dos and don'ts after teeth whitening include avoiding staining foods and drinks, not smoking, and maintaining good oral hygiene to ensure the best possible results and to prolong the effects of the whitening treatment.

why are my teeth still yellow after whitening

How Long Does It Take To Whiten Yellow Teeth?

The journey to a brighter smile varies in duration, largely depending on the whitening method chosen and the severity of tooth discoloration.

At SNOW, we understand that our customers are eager to see results and often wonder about the time frame for achieving their desired tooth whiteness.

Over-the-counter options like whitening toothpaste and mouthwash to whiten teeth typically start showing changes within two to six weeks of consistent use. These products are more suited for removing surface stains and may take longer to address deeper discoloration.

Whitening strips, another popular choice, offer a more potent solution. They contain bleaching agents like carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, which break down stains into smaller pieces, making teeth appear brighter.

These ingredients can permeate dental hard tissues, effectively tackling both extrinsic and intrinsic staining. The results from whitening strips can last up to six months, but this can vary based on dietary habits and oral hygiene practices.

Yellow Teeth After Whitening FAQs

How many days does it take to whiten teeth with strips?

Typically, it takes about two weeks to see noticeable results with whitening strips, but this can vary.

Why won't my yellow teeth whiten?

If you're not seeing results after a few weeks, you may have intrinsic staining. Intrinsic stains, deeply embedded within the tooth, may not respond well to over-the-counter whitening products. Consult your dentist at this point.

How long does it take to whiten yellow teeth?

The time to whiten teeth varies based on the method and severity of discoloration. Results from whitening toothpaste and mouthwash can be seen in two to six weeks, while whitening strips can last up to six months.

Is teeth yellowing permanent?

Teeth yellowing isn't necessarily permanent. With excellent products, like the ones offered by SNOW, and good oral hygiene, the whiteness of teeth can be significantly improved.

How are my teeth still yellow?

Genetics, lifestyle habits, and enamel erosion significantly influence why teeth might still appear yellow after whitening. Understanding these factors helps in choosing the most effective whitening method.


Understanding the nuances of teeth whitening is crucial in achieving that bright, confident look.

Whether it's combating intrinsic stains, dealing with the natural aging process, or addressing lifestyle habits, there are effective solutions available.

Remember, teeth yellowing isn't permanent, and with the right approach, you can see significant improvements.

For those looking into DIY teeth whitening, SNOW offers a range of products tailored to meet your needs safely and effectively. Explore our collection today and take the first step towards a brighter, whiter smile.

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