A professional teeth whitening treatment is a quick and effective way to achieve a renewed, radiant smile. Stunning white teeth can help boost your self-esteem and give you the confidence to share your smile. Unfortunately, whitened teeth can lose their appeal if not properly cared for. Diet, age, and certain daily habits can contribute to surface stains or discoloration.
To maintain the results of your professional teeth whitening treatment, here are some helpful tips.
Avoid Highly Pigmented Foods and Beverages
Over time, exposure to certain foods and beverages will gradually stain your whitened teeth. Everything you consume comes into contact with your tooth enamel. To minimize discoloration, you should avoid highly pigmented foods and drinks like:
- Coffee, tea, and red wine
- Dark sodas and juices
- Dark sauces like soy sauce, barbecue sauce, and red pasta sauce
- Berries and grapes
- Dark chocolate
- High sugar and acidic foods
If avoiding these completely is not an option, then you may want to make sure that you drink your beverages with a straw to reduce contact with your teeth. Rinse or brush your teeth immediately after having foods that can cause staining.
Improve Your Oral Hygiene
After teeth whitening, it’s time to freshen up your dental and oral hygiene to prevent new stains and discoloration from developing on your teeth. Good oral care involves brushing twice daily and flossing once every day. Brushing your teeth for more than a minute is recommended to ensure all substances are dislodged from your teeth.
To get a proper cleaning, brush all of the exposed surfaces of your teeth in small-circular movements. Gargling and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash can also protect your teeth from bacterial infection.
Smoking is one of the fastest ways to ruin your professional teeth whitening treatment. Smoking and the use of tobacco products cause discoloration and increase the risk of plaque and tartar buildup. Tobacco also increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. To keep your white smile looking good, it is important to quit any tobacco habit.
Schedule Regular Exams and Dental Cleanings
Regular dental checkups can go a long way in maintaining a healthy, white smile. The dentist will clean your teeth more thoroughly than your daily brushing while checking for plaque buildup, gingivitis, and cavities. Surface stains are also removed during professional teeth cleaning. Visiting your dentist at least two times per year helps keep dental issues to a minimum.
Get Touchups As Needed
Regardless of how well you clean your teeth, they will eventually build up new stains. Scheduling teeth whitening touchup appointments every 6-12 months can remove deep stains that develop and maintain your results longer. You can also ask your dentist what they recommend for at-home touchups.
Proper Care and Maintenance for Long-Lasting Results
Professional teeth whitening is only one step on the journey to a beautiful, healthy smile. Proper care and maintenance are critical to long-term oral wellness. In addition to the occasional cosmetic dental treatment, ensure you keep up with your regular dental checkups and contact your dentist if you experience any oral health issues.