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Caring for Your Teeth after Whitening Treatment

By Bruce Wilderman on October 04, 2016

Two young women with bright, white smilesStained, yellowed teeth can make the smile look dull and add years to your appearance. Professional teeth whitening can lift years of dental discoloration, enhancing the smile and revealing vibrant, white teeth. The results of teeth whitening treatment are long lasting, so long as proper aftercare is provided. To learn more about teeth whitening aftercare, schedule a consultation with Philadelphia, PA dentist Bruce Wilderman. In the meantime, read these tips on ways to care for your smile after teeth whitening treatment.

Caring for Your Teeth Immediately after Teeth Whitening

During the first 48 hours after whitening treatment, it's important to practice extra diligence when caring for the teeth. This is because whitening treatment can cause the teeth to become temporarily porous, making the teeth vulnerable to staining if exposed to certain foods and drinks. During this time, patients should practice proper oral hygiene and avoid the following:

  • Soft drinks
  • Red wine
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Tomato sauce
  • Berries
  • Any dark foods or drinks that may stain the teeth
  • Tobacco

Long-term Aftercare Tips to Keep Your Teeth White

Continuing the habits that caused the teeth to stain in the first place, like smoking and excessive coffee drinking, will lead to discoloration after whitening treatment. You can prevent discoloration and protect the results of whitening treatment with these simple aftercare tips:

  • Brush multiple times a day: The teeth should be brushed a minimum of twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, but brushing more often can have positive results on preventing staining. Since food is one of the leading causes of dental stains, brushing after every meal can help reduce the risk of discoloration and prolong the results of whitening treatment.
  • Use a whitening toothpaste: Although whitening toothpastes have low concentrations of bleaching agents, regular use can help prevent staining after teeth whitening treatment.
  • Floss the teeth: Flossing the teeth at least once a day is also important to preventing discoloration and protecting the teeth after whitening treatment. Use a whitening floss to further enhance results. 
  • Drink with a straw: Drinking with a straw can help minimize a beverage's contact with the teeth and reduce the risk of dental discoloration. This is particularly useful when drinking soda, tea, and coffee, all of which increase the risk of stains.
  • Avoid foods and drinks most likely to stain the teeth: Some foods and drinks are more likely to stain the teeth than others, such as tomato sauce, red wine, coffee, and tea. Avoiding these foods and drinks can help reduce the risk of dental stains and keep the teeth white.
  • Don't smoke: Smoking greatly increases the risk of tooth discoloration. The nicotine and tar from cigarettes deposits into the teeth, quickly turning them a yellow or brown color.

Is Teeth Whitening Right for You?

Teeth whitening is a fast, effective treatment that can enhance the smile's appearance and results can last for years with proper care and maintenance. To find out if teeth whitening is right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wilderman.

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