Limitations of Teeth Whitening
It’s important to understand the limitations of teeth whitening to know why it might not work for you.
First, there are the limitations we talked about above. Teeth whitening only works on certain types of stains. It won’t help if you have naturally dark enamel, enamel defects, thin enamel, or especially dark tooth interiors (dentin and pulp). It also doesn’t help if your tooth looks discolored because of metal amalgam fillings. For many people, teeth whitening is disappointing: you use it, and your teeth still look yellow, brown, or gray.
Another limitation is that teeth whitening can’t address factors that make your smile or individual teeth look dim, such as shading. Sometimes your teeth look dim because they’re not getting enough light when you smile. In a crooked smile, individual teeth often look discolored because they are tipped or pushed back. Other times, your entire smile might look dim because your teeth aren’t tall enough to let light in–your lips constantly shade your smile.
Another limitation of teeth whitening is that it’s temporary. The effects of teeth whitening might last six months or less for people who commonly drink staining beverages like coffee, coke, or red wine. You spend a month to six weeks applying whitener to your teeth, then have to turn around and do it again in a few months. Not to mention the cost of constantly whitening your teeth. This might be acceptable for some people who get good results, but it’s a lot of work and expense for a little reward if you’re getting mediocre results.
Finally, there are many cosmetic concerns that whitening just can’t help with. Often people think that they’ll be happy if their smile is whiter, but whitening reveals that their teeth are crooked, chipped, worn, small, or otherwise unattractive in ways that whitening can’t help.