Teeth whitening is one of the most common dental procedures, and a simple session can go a long way in improving the appearance of your smile. However, it is important that you take certain steps once you leave our office to ensure that your teeth stay white for as long as possible. Find out some common mistakes that whitening patients make, and learn what not to do after you’ve had your teeth whitened.
Immediately Revert Back to Your Old Diet
While a tooth whitening treatment doesn’t mean that you need to make major changes to your diet, avoiding certain foods and drinks can help to protect your teeth from staining again. This is especially important in the first 24-48 hours following your whitening procedure, as the pores within your enamel will still be open, making them especially vulnerable to stains. For this reason, we recommend that patients follow “The White Diet” in the first day or two after whitening treatment, and you should avoid foods like carrots, broccoli, white bread, chocolate, beets, tomatoes, and butter during this time. You should also pass on certain drinks, including soda, coffee, orange juice, lemonade, red wine, energy drinks, and dark beer.
Drink Dark Liquids Straight Out of the Can or Glass
If you are looking for a refreshing beverage on a hot summer day, it is perfectly fine to indulge in a soda or iced tea once in awhile. However, you will benefit your newly white teeth if you choose to drink out of a straw. The caffeine found in these drinks can cause your teeth to stain, as can the tannins. By drinking out of a straw, you’ll minimize the contact that these substances have with your teeth, allowing your whitened smile to last longer.
Drink or Smoke
Drinking and smoking are bad news when it comes to a white smile, as frequent use can actually reverse the effects of your teeth whitening job. Wine is an especially bad alcoholic beverage when it comes to the color of your teeth, as it contains teeth-staining tannins. The same concept applies to the nicotine found in tobacco. If giving up alcohol or smoking isn’t an option, you should at least make an effort to reduce the frequency with which you use these substances.
Go Back to Your Old Toothpaste
After you have invested the time and money into teeth whitening, it is important to avoid the common mistake of going back to use your regular toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes are much better when it comes to ensuring the longevity of your white smile. These pastes contain bleaching agents that work to oxidize stains from the teeth. While the concentration of these agents tends to be low, they are still extremely helpful in breaking down stains from the teeth before they have a chance to discolor your enamel again.
Assume You Don’t Need to Brush
Some people are under the impression that after their teeth have been whitened that they don’t need to continue with their oral hygiene regimen. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as proper oral hygiene will actually extend the life of your whitening job. Not only that, but failure to brush and floss properly can lead to decay, gum disease, and a host of other dental problems that extend much further beyond a discolored smile. Brushing and flossing will remove food and beverage particles from the teeth before they are able to develop into stains.
Even if you are diligent about protecting your teeth against future stains, you’ll still need follow-up whitening treatments to retain your white and bright smile.
Please contact us today if you are ready to improve the appearance of your teeth.