You have been self-conscious about the yellow discoloration and stains of your teeth for far too long. And now, you have made a big decision and decided to invest in whitening your teeth, either through in-office professional whitening or using DIY whitening kits. You are proud of the changes it did to your teeth and smile, but can teeth whitening last? What should one do for teeth whitening aftercare?
Considerations before the procedure
There are two things that you need to understand before undergoing teeth whitening. These realizations will help you curb your expectations and think twice if necessary.
It is not permanent. The longest its effect can stay is up to 3 years, some can even notice discoloration after a few months. You must really be dedicated to maintaining its effects and adjusting your lifestyle so your white teeth can glow even longer.
It only works for natural teeth. If you are planning on whitening your teeth but are sporting restorative appliances like dental bridge, veneers, crowns, or implants, this procedure, unfortunately, does not work on them. The chemicals inside the whitening agent may even damage these appliances.
Teeth whitening: The first few days
If you have availed of the in-chair professional whitening, you may have come home during the session and looked in the mirror and just exclaimed, ‘Wow!’. Yes, the change in the color of your teeth is that visible that you may have forgotten if your teeth ever looked that white before! Your pearly whites are now really at least 10 shades whiter, and you are just so excited to show the world your great transformation.
You continue with your normal dental routine. But as days pass by, you may notice that the shine begins to fade, and the whiteness is still there but it is not as wowing as before. This is all normal, but there are ways to better maintain your newly whitened teeth.
Tips for teeth whitening aftercare
The food and drinks. Yes, even if you already have your teeth whitened, they will not be protected with the stains and discolorations that are brought about by what you consume every day. So if you want to maintain the whiteness of your teeth, avoid food and drinks with high staining factors like coffees, teas, and wines. If you really want to drink these, you may consider using a straw so that the liquid goes inside your mouth at once and will not hit your front teeth.
Stop smoking. Smoking stains the teeth and hurts your overall health. You quite honestly will not get any benefits if you continue with smoking cigarettes and tobacco. So as early as now, avoid smoking not just for your teeth, but for your whole well-being.
Maintain your dental hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth twice a day using a whitening toothpaste and flossing your teeth at least once a day will ensure that your teeth are clean and that the white stays white.
Do follow-up treatment. You may consider going back to your doctor and scheduling ‘touch-up procedures’, just to help maintain that whiteness of your teeth. He may recommend whitening trays and gels that you can use at home, but do not overdo it. Overexposing your teeth from these chemicals may cause sensitivity and may damage the enamel, so make sure to discuss with your dentist what needs to be done and how often it should be done.