Keeping a Healthy Smile After Teeth Whitening. Dos and Don'ts
posted on 4/23/2013
Are you ready for your smile makeover? Whether you’re undergoing the BriteSmile procedure or a standard tooth whitening treatment at the dentist’s office, knowing how to keep those pearly whites shining bright is a top priority after your session. Keeping your teeth in great shape prevents gum disease and other problems, and a series of teeth whitening treatments can help enhance a healthy smile even further.
When you’re regularly getting your teeth cleaned and whitened, extend the life of that bright smile with these do’s and don’ts:
Do brush and floss regularly. Standard dental hygiene practices still apply, and can help you keep those teeth looking clean and shiny for weeks after treatment.
Don’t drink red wine or coffee immediately after your procedure. Both of these can stain your teeth and leave a residue that does not brush away easily. Avoid most dark-colored beverages as often as possible to prevent staining.
Do use an at-home teeth whitening kit for maintenance. Tooth bleaching and whitening kits can be purchased directly from your dentist’s office, or online. Use these kits between sessions to keep up that bright smile and reduce your need for more sessions over the course of a year.
Don’t eat dark-colored foods for a few weeks after treatment. Dark broth-based soups and stews, dark chocolate and other foods with a dark hue can also stain your teeth and leave an unsightly residue. Skip these as often as possible so you can maintain that bright white smile!
Do drink beverages using a straw. Drinking through a straw reduces the amount of fluid that reaches the front side of your teeth; this can limit enamel breakdown and staining and is a great way to continue that coffee habit without the guilt.
Don’t use teeth whitening kits until at least 4 weeks after your treatment. Teeth whitening sessions can be fairly powerful, and you don’t want to damage your teeth with bleaching agents. Use only the recommended amount on the instructions, and follow your dentists instructions on how and when to use them.
Do be patient! Most teeth whitening procedures take up to two weeks to show results, so you won’t see a dramatic difference when you leave the dentist’s office. Take ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures to watch the progress so you can clearly see the difference at the right time.
Don’t wear lipstick immediately after the teeth whitening session. Lipstick can stain your teeth and leave behind residue; when you’ve recently had your teeth whitened, your teeth will be especially vulnerable to discoloration. Avoid lipstick and lipgloss for at least a week after your session.
Do use a mouthwash or rinse after each meal. This can help remove food particles and other debris from the mouth and gives you fresher breath. Look for anti-bacterial mouthwashes with teeth whitening properties for even more benefits.
Don’t skip your healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water will keep your body – and bones – in great shape. Make sure you’re taking your vitamins and eating plenty of protein so that your teeth stay strong and resilient.
Do use a whitening toothpaste. Toothpaste with whitening properties available over the counter are less intensive as those found at the doctor’s office, but still provide some benefits. Either a gel-based or cream-based toothpaste will work, and may help prevent stains and discoloration as well.
Maintaining a healthy smile after a teeth whitening procedure will help you make the most of your session and can increase the shelf life of that high wattage smile. Keeping up with a consistent oral hygiene routine, eating the right types of foods, and steering clear of dark-colored beverages are just a few ways to give your smile a boost.
Learn more about teeth whitening procedures and aftercare in our cosmetic dentistry information guide, or contact a dentist in your area to find out how teeth whitening procedures work.