Having a brighter smile is one of the easiest things you can do today, thanks to different dental options. Dentists offer different in-office professional treatments that can give you whiter teeth within a day. These solutions include BriteSmile, Opalescence Boost, and Zoom.
There are other over-the-counter treatments you can do at home, as well. These include the use of whitening toothpaste, gels, rinses, and strips.
But whether you go for a professional teeth whitening treatment in Fort Lauderdale or take the DIY route or even both, you have to focus on prolonging the effects of these treatments. By doing so, you can have whiter teeth for a longer time; something that can boost your self-esteem and make you feel better overall.
Following the right tips and avoiding some poor practices will help you enjoy the benefits of having your teeth whitened. Below are eight of the most important dos and don’ts you have to remember after undergoing a teeth whitening treatment:
- Modify your diet
If you want to have white teeth that last as expected, consume food that has or nearly the same color as your pearly whites.
You can follow the white shirt test principle in modifying your diet. The concept behind this is simple: if a food or beverage can stain a white shirt, it will do the same for your teeth. As such, it is best to avoid or minimize your intake of these products.
To prolong the effects of your teeth whitening treatment, opt for foods and beverages that are clear or less pigmented. Examples of these are bananas, cauliflower, plain white yogurt, white fish, peeled potatoes, clear coconut water, milk, and water.
- Improve your brushing practices
If you haven’t been particular with brushing your teeth before, you have to step up your game to maintain your bright smile.
Brush at least twice a day. Brush gently yet thoroughly for two minutes, making sure to clean every tooth surface.
It is best to use a toothbrush with soft bristles since hard-bristled ones can damage your enamel, especially if you brush rigorously. If your dentist has prescribed toothpaste designed for use after a tooth whitening treatment, use it.
If you want to use over-the-counter whitening toothpaste, choose one that is low- or non-abrasive.
Finally, brush your teeth after eating or drinking anything that causes stains. However, wait for at least half an hour before brushing to give your saliva time to neutralize any acid.
- Floss regularly
Flossing is also an important part of good oral hygiene. If you want to prolong the effects of your tooth whitening treatment, you have to start doing this daily and properly, too.
Floss once a day to remove plaque that also contributes to the discoloration of your pearly whites. Try to do this at night to clear your teeth of food, debris, and bacteria, which can get stuck in the crevices and cause decay to develop as you sleep.
Make it a habit to gargle with water after flossing to remove the remaining debris and bacteria from your mouth.
- Touch-up as scheduled
At-home or DIY teeth whitening treatments only last for six months. The effects of in-office or professional dental solutions, on the other hand, usually last for one to two years.
If you want to maintain a bright smile, you need to do regular touch-ups. If you use a tooth whitening kit at home, try doing a day’s application once or twice a month.
Whether you use a DIY kit or get a professional treatment, see your dentist as scheduled or every six months. Aside from giving you tips on how you can maintain your white teeth, your dental specialist will check your overall oral health and help prevent any dental issues from worsening.
- Consume foods that can stain your teeth
Avoiding dark foods and liquids is crucial after the first few days of your teeth whitening treatment. You can also prolong its effects by minimizing your consumption of such food every day.
Avoid dark-colored and acidic beverages such as coffee, tea, soda, and red wine. If you have to drink them, use a straw and rinse your mouth with water once you’re done.
Foods with artificial or natural colorants can undo the effects of your tooth whitening treatment. As such, avoid or minimize your consumption of chocolates, blueberries, ketchup, soy sauce, and other similar products.
Lastly, eat sugary foods such as cookies, cakes, and ice cream in moderation since these can also undo the benefits of the treatment and cause other dental issues.
- Opt for cheap teeth whitening treatments
Teeth whitening treatments are one of the last things you want to scrimp on, especially if you use a DIY kit. Generic products may contain active peroxide as an ingredient, but they are not tested to ensure safety and effectiveness.
Additionally, with generic variants, you can’t be sure about how the inactive ingredients will interact with the peroxide. Using these may cause you more problems than benefits.
To be safe, choose a tooth whitening product with a seal of acceptance or ask your dentist for their recommended treatment.
- Take unprescribed medicines
Certain medications can cause blots on your teeth. An example of this is tetracycline, an antibiotic.
Long-term use of certain antibiotics has also been associated with tooth discoloration. These can cause your pearly whites to take on a grey color.
Certain brands of antihistamines can also sometimes have staining implications on your teeth.
To enjoy the benefits of having a brighter smile longer, avoid taking medicines that are not prescribed by your doctor. Get advice from your dentist on how you can minimize the staining effects of prescription medicine as well.
- Use expired teeth whitening products
Whether you use an over-the-counter tooth whitening product or one given by your dentist, check its expiration date before using it.
The main ingredient of whitening gels is hydrogen peroxide. Over time, this substance changes to water and oxygen. When you use an expired product, chances are, you will only be getting gel and water since the oxygen will have already leaked from the package.
Whether you are buying a tooth whitening kit on sale or using one that you have stored for months, check the expiration date first.
Aside from following these tips, whenever you are starting to feel dissatisfied with your pearly whites, see your cosmetic dentist in Fort Lauderdale. They will give your teeth the touchup they need, as well as recommend other treatments that can improve the look of your smile.